For someone with the calibre of Lionel Richie, playing the Eden Project is comparable to the upstairs room of a pub compared to the usual crowds he commands. And we are all looking forward to being treated to a cross section of his back catalogue on this his ‘All The Hits’ tour.
Lionel’s band take the stage tonight and after some dramatic light flashes on stage Lionel teases us by singing one word from back stage “Hello!” He then comes on to roars from the crowd and kicks straight into Running With The Night.
Lionel is full of energy and paces around the stage like a man half his age. He flanks himself with his guitarist and bassist, gees up the crowd to clap along, and most importantly demonstrates his vocals to be just as good as always. He keeps this energy up for the duration of the evening and the crowd bounces right back off him.
A few songs in and Lionel takes a seat at the Grand Piano which graces the centre of the stage and gives us the first, and most well known, of his Commodores numbers tonight. Arms wave and phone lights are held aloft for a massive singalong of Easy. Highlighted by a great saxophone solo, Lionel and his band pull out all the stops to keep us, the crowd as engrossed as possible during a fantastic rendition of this classic.
Lionel is in great spirits and good humour all evening, engaging with the crowd during and inbetween every song, and Lionel has chosen a particularly talented bunch of musicians to back him this evening, the guitarist and bassist bounce and run around the stage all night and the saxophonist is brilliant.
There are no bad songs here tonight by all means, but Say You Say Me and Hello get the biggest cheers, and for me the superb Dancing On The Ceiling is the pick of the bunch.
The setting here at the Eden project is second to none. The lit up biomes make a fascinating backdrop and experiencing this performance in such beautiful surroundings makes it all the more special.
After a poignant Hello, Richie performs the charity song he co-wrote with Michael Jackson back in 1985, We Are The World. Having done our homework, and knowing what he’s been closing sets with lately we start to make a swift exit up the hill as soon as he starts the last song. If you don’t get a head start leaving this place it can take All Night Long queuing to get out.
Tonight Lionel gave us a thoroughly professional, entertaining and enjoyable performance and we are still singing along to the dying strains of All Night Long as we speed walk up the hill to the car park.
Lionel Richie setlist
Running With The Night
Three Times A Lady
Lady (You Bring Me Up)
Say You Say Me
Dancing On The Ceiling
We Are The World
All Night Long
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