CONCERT REVIEW: Air Supply Rocks Out in Ensenada Mexico

May 17, 2010



by Johnny Punish

Okay, so my significant other loves Air Supply and, being a good guy, I picked up some tickets and took her to the show this past Saturday Night. Expecting a boring slow moving romantic snoozefest from the fading 80s, boy was I wrong! Shocked was the word! They simply kicked ass!

It was such a weird day anyway so it goes to reason that I would be on path to something unexpected.  I mean our family friends, Frank and Dolores, showed up early for the show. Way too early like around 11am. I mean the show started at 8pm, didnt’ they get the memo? 

Anyways, we went to breakfast around 11am at the Coral Marina and Resort, a local yacht club and spa in the area. Eating breakfast, towards the 3 fellas sat down across the room to eat.

We really did not notice much.

But when finished, we all got up to leave and the ladies, being ahead of us strutted by these gentlemen thinking they were some yacht guys coming in from the morning run.

So they passed these guys and walked up the stairs. Me being my usual slow moving self passed them for about 1 second, took a step back and said “Air Supply right?”

The very tall guy sitting in his chair said with an very English kind of Nottingham accent “Yeah, my name in Graham”. We shook hands.  I then  proceeded to introduce myself to Russell Hitchcock, the lead singer who did not speak much being that he sang the night before in Mexicali, that was completely understandable.   I asked the other guy sitting with them if he was in the band and said no, he was the tour manager.   Cool!  I thanked him hugely for bringing my new found friends down to Mexico.

Being that they were eating breakfast, I kept it short and basically thanked them for coming to Mexico and looked forward in being at their show later in the evening.  They were true gentelmen. The energy was super good.

Of course, when I walked over to my lady at the top of the stairs she asked “Why were you talking to those guys? “That’s Air Supply” I said.  Oh boy, was she beyond herself. She could not believe she walked right past them without saying hello.  Aye Ya Yaye!   Nevertheless, the ladies stood at the top of the stairs and starred at these guys eating breakfast.  I was laughing. My lady is in her 40s and still a freakin groupee! How cool is that!

Okay, jazzed up that we met Air Supply and now that we considered them family or at least really good acquaintences, we got dressed up and went to the show.

It was held at the local Ensenada soccer stadium (Centro Deportivo) . The stage was excellent with awesome lighting. The front seats were reserved VIP going for between $ $ 75 and $ 150 USD. There were a 2nd tier of seats that went for $ 35 USD and then the bleechers going for $ 25 USD. There was service at our seats. So we ordered a bottle of L.A. Cetto Caberernet Sauvignon and some appetizers and we were off.

Grupo Taxman, a local band came on and played mass hits from the 60s & 70s including many Beatles tunes like “I am the Walrus, Maybe I’m Amazed, Octupus’s Garden and other stuff like Fooled Around and Feel in Love and even Peg from Stealy Dan. They were really good. I really enjoyed their performance and sang to many of their tunes. It was a great 45 minute primer.

Then Air Supply came out…..and boom, they hit it hard.  Air Supply?  Rock on!

I expected them to go slow maybe even just come out with an acoustic and mic. No way. They busted out with mass rock guitarist and bitchen bass player with a drummer that pounded like he was Alex Van Halen out there. This was going to be an entertaining show and the audience was going to love it. Whoa!

They sang all their major hits like All Out Of Love, Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You) , Lost In Love , Just As I Am, Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, Every Woman in the World, Even the Nights Are Better and more along with new tunes from their latest of their 29 albums called “Mumbo Jumbo

Lights, Fog and Graham Russell on guitar with Russell Hitchcock on the lead vocals were just outstanding. No wonder these guys have done it for so long. Graham is clearly a world class writer, gentlemen and entertainer with Russell being a unique vocalist; one of those rare people that just have something so unqiue that it’s just a gift and thank goodness he’s sharing it with all of us.

During the show, both Graham and Russell came out into the audience and hung out singing and playing as they walked like ministriels in the park allow all their fans to touch them and share with them. It was totally cool. They became local heroes at that point as they were one of us and the crowd showed their complete and utter appreciation. It was a great moment shared and truely unforgetable.

Who are these cool guys?  Lots of energy, rocking out, hit after hit!

Oh wait, they’re my buds from this morning’s breakfast! Oh yeah, I almost forgot. It was very cool, lots of good energy! Boy do they have lots of fans in Mexico. Shocking! Fantastic! Here I am, a total fan! 

The Air Supply Story

Graham Russell & Russell Hitchcock met on May 12, 1975, the first day of rehearsals for “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Sydney, Australia; they became instant friends with their common love for The Beatles and, of course, singing.

After the shows’ performances at 10:30, they would play pizza parlors, coffee bars and night clubs with just one guitar and two voices. They quickly gained a reputation for great harmonies and for original songs that Graham was constantly writing. They made a demo on a cassette of two songs, “Love and Other Bruises” and “If You Knew Me” and took it to every record company in Sydney.

Everyone turned it down but one — CBS Records — who admired their unique style. They made a single in one afternoon and it shot to number one on the national charts. Air Supply was born! That same year, they opened for Rod Stewart across Australia and then throughout the U.S. and Canada playing all of the famous huge venues before Rod would take the stage. They found new fans, but did not break the U.S. market.

Back in Australia they had to start again and made a record called “Life Support”. On this record were some treasures of songs, including “Lost in Love” which went top 10 in Australia and somehow found its way to music industry executive Clive Davis in New York.

Clive immediately signed Air Supply to Arista Records and in 1980, “Lost in Love” became the fastest selling single in the world, leaping to the top of all of the charts. Now Air Supply were on their way. The second single was “All Out of Love,” and that went up the charts even quicker. Seven top-five singles later, Air Supply at that time had equaled The Beatles’ run of consecutive top five singles. The albums “Lost in Love”, “The One That You Love”, “Now & Forever”, and “The Greatest Hits” sold in excess of 20 million copies. “Lost in Love” was named Song of the Year in 1980, and, with the other singles, sold over 10 million copies.

The trademark sound of Russell Hitchcock’s soaring tenor voice and Graham Russell’s simple yet majestic songs created a unique sound that would forever be known as Air Supply.

However, it is the live shows that always hold audiences captive around the world. They were the first Western group to tour China, Taiwan, and countless other countries that before would not allow pop music across their borders. In 1983 they recorded “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” by Jim Steinman which solidified the group as a permanent force in modern music. This song was released on “The Greatest Hits” album which soared past 7 million copies.

“Lost in Love”, “All Out of Love”, “The One That You Love”, “Sweet Dreams”, and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” have each achieved multi-million plays on the radio.

In 1986 the group’s music was still playing endlessly on radio. That same year, Graham was married to actress Jodi Varble from Rochelle, Illinois, who also was his leading lady in the video for “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All.”

Air Supply began to tour with lavish productions in places that no one had been before. In South America and Asia they became a part of everyone’s life. In 1988, Air Supply was asked to participate in Australia’s bicentennial celebration and to play for HRH Prince Charles and HRH Princess Diana, where they learned both were already ardent fans. This engagement would be one of their most treasured moments in their career.

In 1989, they recorded “The Earth Is” album selling over a million copies outside of the U.S. This album was followed by “The Vanishing Race” CD and, with the singles “Goodbye” and “It’s Never Too Late”, again saw multi-platinum success. The following albums, “News from Nowhere”, “Yours Truly”, and “Across the Concrete Sky” all gave their second greatest hits album multi-platinum status as they traveled the world each and every year.

In 2000, a new production company was founded to be devoted to Air Supply’s entire future product, called A Nice Pear, which gave them complete creative control.

In July 2005, their live DVD, “It Was 30 Years Ago Today” celebrated 30 years of success around the world and in that same month, Air Supply smashed attendance records when, in Cuba, at one show they played to 175,000 people. Also 2005 saw the release of “The Singer and the Song”, an acoustic album of many of their big hits which received critical acclaim.

Now in 2010, they have a brand new studio CD, “Mumbo Jumbo”.


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