PICS: Air Supply mixes old with new at Blaisdell
Photos by Jason Genegabus / email@example.com
Graham Russell plays to the crowd during Air Supply’s concert last night at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.
By Jason Genegabus
It’s been 35 years since soft rockers Air Supply formed in Australia, and original members Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock still can’t get away from the love jams that made them famous in the ’70s and ’80s.
For nearly 90 minutes last night at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, the duo — with a young, energetic four-piece backing band in tow — made sure to play a number of tracks easily found on the band’s greatest hits albums and still played in regular rotation to this day in local karaoke bars.
Starting strong out of the gate with “Even the Nights are Better” and “Just As I Am,” a diverse Blaisdell Concert Hall crowd was able to sing along as Air Supply appeared to work some of the kinks out of the audio system. With a minimal amount of banter between songs, they quickly moved into material off their latest album, “Mumbo Jumbo,” which seemed to get a bit of a kapakahi response out of the audience as well.
“Just a Little Bit More” and “Dance With Me” were the other two new songs they performed — the former based off a “true story” about two 19-year olds who got married before one was shipped off to military service in the Middle East, the latter being the biggest Billboard hit the band has seen in decades — but of course what got Honolulu fans the most excited were the big hits they remembered from decades past.
Hitchcock and Russell didn’t disappoint, stoking the flames with “Two Less Lonely People in the World” and “Power of Love” before elevating the night to true rock show status by performing “The One That You Love” virtually in its entirety from out in the audience. They also invited fans to rush the stage, although Russell did warn everyone that, “you have to behave yourself.”
That didn’t stop plenty of women, men, and even a grandmother or two from squeezing their way towards the front of the room for the definitely not soft “Dance With Me,” as well as karaoke favorites “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” and “Lost in Love” — which Russell performed using the same guitar he used to originally record the track in 1978.
While taking the trip down memory lane with Air Supply is undeniably fun, it was also inspiring to see the guys pushing their new material just as hard as their classic hits. “Mumbo Jumbo” may not be their greatest work ever, but the newer songs they played last night were able to hold their own amidst a playlist of tracks already recognizable worldwide by multiple generations of fans.
Last night’s set list:
» Even the Nights Are Better
» Just As I Am
» Without You
» Hold On
» Faith in Love
» Mumbo Jumbo
» Two Less Lonely People in the World
» Power of Love
» Just a Little Bit More
» The One That You Love
» Lost in Love
» Dance With Me
» Every Woman in the World
» Making Love Out of Nothing at All