The Arcadia Performing Arts Center proved Saturday night that the venue is fit for a significant pop rock concert when 1970s/80s Australia pop band Air Supply had a sold-out crowd of 1,200 standing on their feet multiple times and even rushing the stage for the encore finale of “All Out of Love.”
British-born singer-songwriter-guitarist Graham Russell and lead singer Russell Hitchcock created a very personal and interactive performance, encouraging sing-alongs by the avid fans and even wandering deep into the auditorium seats for many minutes of posing for photos and kissing adoring fans while singing “The One That You Love.”
<Story continues below the following 2-minute video highlights in YouTube and Flash video formats…>
The program even managed something almost unheard of with rock concerts — the 100-minute show began precisely on time at 8 p.m.
Although the stage design was sparse — black curtains framing the white backdrop splashed with colored lights (one might have expected to at least have the name of the band projected in large letters and/or lights on the backdrop to provide some visual appeal, if not any graphics or video), and three small, square platforms for the drums, keyboards, and guitars sitting on the bare stage — the general sound system and lighting appeared to work quite satisfactorily. Although the flashing of the house lights felt a little low-budget, there were no obvious glitches, which is the primay major test of performance of this caliber.
Equally encouraging and pleasantly surprising was the wide diversity in age and ethnicity of the audience. A grandparent was seen with a teenage boy, neither of whom would seem the obvious target audience. Likwise fans of numerous races who were all applauding enthusiastically. Additionally, one would guess that many in the audience were attracted to Arcadia from well beyond the city limits.
The evening bodes well for the future of big concerts at the PAC, which is good news since the Foundation has already scheduled three more in the coming months, beginning with America on Feb. 22 (see images and ticket info below or click here for naming rights)…
— By Scott Hettrick