"You're always going to remember three things from tonight. Where you were, what you were doing, and who you were doing," Lionel Richie told the large crowd at Cruzan Amphitheatre on Tuesday night before letting out that wide grin underneath his signature mustache. He then sauntered over to the piano to sing "Easy."
Say what you will about Lionel Richie, and many critics have over the years, but the man does not lack confidence. He named his tour All the Hits All Night Long, and for the two hours he was on the stage, nearly all of the two dozen songs he played were ones that anyone whose car radio ever got stuck on an easy-listening station would recognize.
Not that Lionel would let you forget how many hits he was responsible for.
From his early songs with the Commodores like "Three Times a Lady" and "Brick House" to his solo career represented by "Dancing on the Ceiling" and "Hello" to the night's closer "We Are the World," you had to admit, Lionel was right when he announced, "You're not going to be hearing me sing these songs; you're going to be hearing everyone around you."
The man got his kicks celebrating his own popularity while insulting his audience, and the crowd loved him for it! When a young women up front asked him for his phone number, Lionel stopped everything to say, "She thinks I'm singing just for her. That's what these shows do to you. You think it's your private concert, but I got 7,000 people to entertain."
Later, as he went into a portion of the evening dedicated to celebrating his songs with the Commodores, he sassed, "You guys were young when I was young, and now you're old and I'm still young." He was right; he really didn't look that much older than he did in his 1980s videos or on the rad vintage T-shirts the merchandise tables were hawking. When you took a look at Lionel's touring band, you wondered if he did have access to a time machine. His guitarist was rocking a jean vest with no shirt underneath, and the saxophone player tooted his horn upside down during "Dancing on the Ceiling." It made it seem he pulled his band right out of a Delorean from 1985.
See also: Why Everybody Should Love CeeLo Green
Opener CeeLo Green began the festivities promptly at 7:30. Sporting a black muumuu, gold chain, and shades. It was obvious from the lack of the crowd's attention that they didn't know who he was.
The sometime member of Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley was joined by a guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist in short black dresses as he did cover versions of Minnie Ripperton's "Lovin' You," Sister Sledge's "We Are Family," and Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy." He took his sunglasses off for "Crazy." He slowed the tempo down enough so that it almost seemed like a spooky Halloween song.
But it wasn't until the final track of his 40-minute set where the audience realized who they were listening to. He went into his famous song that has two versions. When he got to the chorus, he pointed the microphone to the crowd and let them decide whether to sing "Fuck You" or "Forget You."
CeeLo left, fans cheered, leaving Lionel Richie's ego to conquer.
Lionel Richie Set List:
"All Around the World"
"Running With the Night"
"Stuck on You"
"Dancing on the Ceiling"
"Three Times a Lady"
"Lady (You Bring Me Up)"
"Just to Be Close to You"
"Say You, Say Me"
"All Night Long"
"We Are the World"
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