Ian D. Hall
Richard Marx is rightly considered one of the best examples of American contemporary Rock, his records are much loved by his legion of fans and his in so much demand that he writes and produces music for a multitude of other acts who clamour to be aligned with him. However he doesn’t tour this side of the Atlantic that often, and it’s a great shame as he treats his audience like old friends and always has time for them. That thankfully was put right as he bounced on stage at the Philharmonic Hall to applause that’s usually reserved for the likes of Jon Anderson.

Richard went through a repertoire that would leave any top rated musician a little jealous of what he has been able to achieve. With songs such as Angelia, Keep Coming Back, the stunning The Way She Loves Me, and Satisfied. All of which were greeted like old friends by his very loyal and vocal audience.

There were several notable highlights during a night that was filled to the brim with great memories, amongst them was a sensational version of the classic and top five hit Hazard from the 1991 album Rush Street. Richard was gracious and honest enough to note the role his wife played in the song finally becoming the world wide hit and fan favourite by acknowledging that without her input, it would have stayed in his music bin.

There is hardly a time in the Philharmonic that can truly be considered so quiet that you can hear nothing but the silent refrain of guitar being played, however Richard unplugged his instrument of choice for the song Always on Your Mind, climbed down and sat on the edge of the stage and gently played each delicate note so quietly that the audience for four minutes were completely and utterly silenced, only at the end did the crescendo of noise fill the Philharmonic Hall as the audience grasped the enormity of what they had witnessed.

Richard came back on stage for an encore and proceeded to stun the crowd with a perfect and incredible version of Peter Gabriel’s 1986 song Red Rain. To hear this song stripped back and played by one with so much talent paid homage wonderfully to Gabriel and would have had the great man applauding in appreciation.

The Chicago born songwriter finished a set filled with many stories and top class songs with two of his early hits Don’t Mean Nothing and the emotionally charged Right Here Waiting for You which had sections of the audience dabbing their eyes and doing their best to relive a time that was their moment.

A night that will live long in the hearts of his fans and which more than made up for his 20 year absence from these shores and importantly in the heart of Richard Marx who seemed genuinely moved by the ovation he received at the end of the night..

4 stars
Ian D. Hall