Concert Review: Lionel Richie, Molson Amphitheatre, July 30

Let’s go back to this picture

This was at SXSW two years ago and it took me a ton of alcohol and a free show to fully come to appreciate Lionel Richie

Wanting to relive those good times, we got tickets to go see Lionel Richie’s Greatest Hits tour at the Molson Amphitheatre on Wednesday.

Walking into the Amphitheatre, I was hit by one of my most shocking moments ever going to a show. As we passed by security, my friend had a backpack on her and the security guard just waved her through.


In complete shock at such indifferent security, I looked at other security members and realized this was happening all around.


Are Lionel Richie fans so tame and old that they aren’t even remotely worried about them? I could have snuck in a six pack and a bottle of wine in my friend’s backpack and they wouldn’t have even known? That blew my mind. Of course, I didn’t try to do that because I thought they would check backpacks, so maybe there is a hint of reverse psychology there. I think it’s the fact that the band is Lionel Richie, which made me think about what levels of security the Molson Amphitheatre would have. I have come up with this:

Post 9/11 / Red Alert; Any hip hop or nu-metal or heavy metal show
Drug pat downs: EDM, Dave Matthews
Look for Pedos: Teeny bop/top 40 bands
Normal: indie rock, folk,
Pretty chill: Classic rock/older acts
Really chill: lionel richie
No Security required: Sade, Yanni

Regardless, it was pretty mind blowing.

It never really dawned on me how far away you are when you sit in the lawns at the Amphitheatre. Typically, I sneak into the 400’s but the place was rammed, so I was left with this view:

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 12.24.57 PM

Like my friend Thierry said, I might as well have been in Glastonbury, all I was missing was mud, random flags, a bunch of drunk brits and a fist full of mollys.

The one thing I love about classic acts is how amazing their stage presence is. Lionel Richie is an exceptional performer. Not just a singer, he tells stories, he invites you to dance and he loves incorporating his songs into his banter. This includes saying stuff like “Ladies and Gentleman, we are here to party… all ….. night….long”.

He also pulled off a bit where he almost tricked the entire crowd into thinking Diana Ross was going to come out for Endless Love by having a camera backstage going to a locker room. It was pretty funny.

As for the show itself, the night was billed as hits tour and as such, ran through a pretty predictable set list of his solo and Commodores stuff Honestly, that’s all you want. Songs like Say You, Say Me had people swaying and Dancing on the Ceiling had people dancing. Of course, the night ended off with the one-two punch of Hello and Up All Night got the crowd up in the frenzy and those two tracks rightfully ended the main set. Richie sounded great the entire time, the man takes care of his voice, that’s for sure.

Stunningly enough, We Are the World ended the night, leaving everyone on a singalong high note. Stupidly, I left after All Night Long wanting to beat the crowd and missed that last track and now I fully regret it. I’ll probably regret it All……..Night….Long.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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