herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Review

3ARENA > CHRIS WASSER

Lionel Richie is in shock. "I haven't seen dancing like that since 1984!" Yeah, it's a little out of control in here, Lionel. The former Commodore also happens to have touched down in Dublin on the one day of the week when the sun came out.

"No rain and no cold!" he jests. "What the hell was that?" Funny, we were gonna ask the same about that bright red liquid you've been drinking from the start. Dude coughs and splutters whenever he takes a sip. Eventually, someone hands him a can of Guinness. Much better. At 65 years of age, Richie - a million-selling purveyor of cheesy, sugar-coated pop and soul - isn't interested in pushing the new. Not when there's a sparkling diamond of a catalogue to deliver.

Charismatic

The voice? Perfect. The moves? Oh yes, Lionel's still got it. Drenched in sweat, Richie - a fabulously-groomed and wonderfully charismatic superstar - is like a wind-up toy tonight.

We've been through a lot together, says Lionel. When he was in love, we were in love. When we got old, he stayed young (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). Indeed, the three-step lessons-in-romance section is a master class in stage craft; a positively beaming Lionel showcasing some first-rate comedic chops by adding a series of hilarious interludes to Still, Oh No and an eloquently-performed rendition of Stuck on You.

Away from the piano, Lionel's firecracker R&B credentials put his younger counterparts to shame. Look as he and his band go during Running with the Night and the magnificent Dancing on the Ceiling. You can't fake that sort of enjoyment. The best greatest-hits show in pop. HHHHH

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