Key Points:

There are many ways to describe the experience of Lionel Richie live. Yes, we were dancing on the ceiling. We partied all night long.

And, during the many ballads, even the soppy stalker anthem Hello, we felt easy. Easy like a Sunday morning.

That's a hammy way to sum up Lionel's sold-out Vector Arena concert last night, but hammy is what he does beautifully.

I call him Lionel because up there on stage he is a friend to everyone, especially the ladies. He's the Mr Loverman master.

Even before we see him in the flesh, we get a video screen glimpse of him back stage, giving big ups to his brothers in the band and stage crew before striding out, all gangly yet dashing in his silky black shirt and trousers.

He beams that giant grin and throws adoring kisses to the crowd.

Despite Just For You, off his 2004 album of the same name, being a throwaway first song, the 90 minute set takes in Commodores songs including Brick House and Three Times A Lady from the band's 70s heyday, and on to his solo career in the 80s with Truly, All Night Long (All Night), and - oh, what a feeling - Dancing On the Ceiling.

It was a special night for Lionel because one of his old Commodores band mates, bass player Ronald La Pread, now lives in Auckland and the concert was dedicated to him.

And La Pread came out and played a funky bass, dating back to the time when Lionel had "one big afro", on the classic Brick House from 1977. Altogether now, Bau ba-ba-bau ...

Elsewhere, there was a gorgeous Stuck On You and Penny Lover, which showed Lionel's voice is still golden after a career spanning 40 years.

The ladies in the crowd took on the role of Diana Ross and duetted with him on Endless Love, we were Running With the Night while Lionel played air guitar, Easy proved the sax is still sexy, and there were the obligatory new songs that everyone sat through politely.

Yet Lionel isn't the type to get hung up on playing songs off the new album, so the set was virtually hit after hit.

After all these years he still sings songs like Lady with heartfelt tenderness and passion.

He never misses a note, he plays piano with a romantic touch, and does he sweat, going through several towels. That's entertainment.