Concert review: Lionel Richie, Vector Arena

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Lionel Ritchie. Photo / AP
Lionel Ritchie. Photo / AP

Audiences were never going to be disappointed with a night of hits that took them through all the heaving nightclub numbers to the sweet serenades.

Richie's voice matched the fabric of his shirts - satin and velvet - and his moves rivalled his frenetic back-up musicians.

It was quite the battle on the dance floor at Vector Arena last night.

Australian Idol-turned-international chart-topper Guy Sebastian kicked it off with his fluid footwork, and the elastic moves of Richie's saxophonist paved the way for the shimmying star himself to pull out the ever-so-calculated body roll.

After opening with a remix of Hello and - hey, why not? - Everybody Dance Now, followed by All Around the World and Ballerina Girl, Richie ordered the audience out of their seats to get sweaty with him.

Then he commanded them to sit while he took to the grand piano. Then he told them to go crazy again.

The performance rolled seamlessly towards his piece de la resistance, Three Times a Lady, before he hit them with the big surprise.

Had he noticed everyone was enamoured by the Commodores songs he was singing? Boy did he have a surprise for them.

In an Oprah-like moment, former Commodores bassist Ron La Pread and guitarist Tommy McClary appeared alongside him.

La Pread lives in Auckland, and McClary was just jealous of the reunion so decided to tag along.

"Just like old times," Richie declared.

And it was, with renditions of Brick House, Dancing on the Ceiling, and Richie's personal favourite Lady.

Remember, said a sincere Richie, while you are having the time of your lives, the victims of Christchurch.

It was a poignant dedication that the audience adhered to, as they danced (on the ceiling) ... all night long.

- NZ Herald

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