March 23, 2011

Lionel Richie: All Night Long Indeed, by Eva Rinaldi


I'd been looking forward to tonight for a long time, and Lionel baby didn't disappoint Sydney's Acer Arena.

It was Guy Sebastian, the multi-talented Aussie who rose to fame via the Australian Idol media machine, who opened the evening, sporting a new haircut that didn't do that much for me. Sorry Guy, but my heart and soul was here for Lionel, but I still like you lots too.

I honestly believe that Lionel Richie may be one of the most under-rated performing artists of all time, but what does a passionate music fan come photographer know anyway...well, that's what the knockers say. Let's see what the history books say about the musical genius in a few years from now, but back to matters at hand.

I was pleased to learn that Lionel is a great humanitarian who co-wrote 'We Are the World' and co-produced the remake 'We Are the World 25,' which was released during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Richie has raised a small fortune for breast cancer over the years, a cause that got on his radar when a family member was diagnosed many years ago.

The American singer-songwriter, musician and record producer is love on two legs, if I may say so (no offence to my man). Since 1968, he's been a member of the musical group Commodores signed to Motown Records. Richie made his solo debut in 1982 with the album Lionel Richie and number-one hit 'Truly'.

My son is probably going to be interested to learn that way back in 2002 one of his songs, 'Running with the Night' was featured on the Rockstar North video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, however the song was removed from later versions of the game.

Tonight Ritchie played most of his greats including the beautiful and genius 'All Night Long', 'Endless Love', 'Truly', 'Penny Lover', 'Stuck On You' and 'Three Times A Lady' and really connected with the audience (mostly couples), and my camera lens too, I'm pleased to report.

As I often do, I would like to publicly thank the promoter of the concert, Michael 
Gudinski of the Frontier Touring Company.  Frontier, an arm of the famed Mushroom Group, has really been outdoing themselves as of late. Thanks also to Rowena and Jules for being of such a great assistance tonight.

Tonight's summary - wonderful, warm, loving, and the night is still young!

                                                              Lionel Richie