While the Democrats in New York were polling their delegates, Richard Marx was having a roll call of his own, drawing upon his array of Top 10 singles to please the masses at the July 15 Greek Theater performance.
Although there may not be anything stellar about Marx’s brand of fluffy pop-rock–and his career continues to provide wags plenty of grist for their mill–his set nonetheless was a blue plate special of meat-and-potatoes rock ‘n’ roll, filled with songs containing undeniable hooks and tight songcrafting.
Wisely, Marx and the band kept superfluous guitar solos and rock-star posing to a minimum, instead focusing on the delivery of tunes from earlier works as well as his current Capitol Records disc, “Rush Street,” which has spawned two hit singles.
A rearranged “Should’ve Known Better” and a rocking version of “Take This Heart,” the new disc’s single, reincarnated both radio-weary songs in new versions.
Marx’s performance of his ballads, often the bellwether of his albums, provided some of the evening’s most crowd-pleasing moments.
Charismatic guitarist Don Kirkpatrick highlighted “Hold On to the Nights,” his working of the song’s telltale hook echoing through the hills. The piano intro on “Right Here Waiting for You,” which opened the two-song encore, was met with the ubiquitous loftily raised lighters and soft choruses by the SRO house.
The intro to the show closer, “Don’t Mean Nothin’,” provided Marx with an opportunity to bash the ongoing presidential race. The crowd’s response to this remark was one of the evening’s biggest.