New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

Did you know NJ Stage offers FREE Event Listings? Nearly 100,000 listings were viewed in January. Be sure to add your events to our calendar and get your shows noticed!

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

By Shelley Bromberg,

originally published: 02/16/2017

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

As the Northeast begins hunkering down for the first big snow storm of the season on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, and the weather dips down from a balmy 60 degrees during the day to below freezing as the sun sets, things are heating up inside the theatre at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (BergenPAC) in Englewood!

Excited fans exit the cold and fill the warm theatre to see their teenage heartthrob Rick Springfield “Stripped Down” — an intimate evening with their idol, his songs, and the stories behind his career and the making of his music.

As a side note, for those of you, like myself, who may someday have to take a moment out of your busy day (from reminiscing about Rick and the great music of the ‘80’s) to explain to your teen and tween daughters exactly who Rick Springfield is — just strum an air guitar and sing:

You know I wish that I had Jessie’s girl! I wish that I had Jessie’s girl! Where can I find a woman like that?

They will understand and let you get back to your reverie.

The article continues after this ad


The BergenPAC auditorium fills up with mostly women — with some peppering of men — in their forties and fifties, and I have an opportunity to catch up with a few of them.

Linda from Passaic — sporting a “Jessie’s Girl 81” pink T shirt — divulges that although she’s been a huge Springfield fan for many years, this is the first time she’s attending a Rick Springfield concert.

“I’m so happy… I can’t wait!,” she exclaims, revealing that she and her friend, Rose, from Rockaway, came via limo to see one of their all-time favorite performers.

Rose, herself, easily recalls that not only she, but both of her daughters — now 51 and 49 — have always been huge fans. So much so, in fact, that a few years ago, one daughter asked her husband if, as a couple, they could see Rick Springfield while he was on tour in Atlanta.

When her husband said no, she burst into tears.

Her husband then beseeched his brother-in-law to send his wife — Rose’s other daughter from New Jersey — to come down to Atlanta to see the concert with his wife. All was well in the family, as the sisters went to the concert together and both husbands stayed home.

This is not to say that men are not Springfield fans.

Before the show, I also chat with Sal from West Orange, who learned from watching TV’s The View that Springfield is a huge Star Wars fan. As a result, when Rick arrived early at the venue this afternoon, Sal was there to greet him with a gift of a vintage Star Wars book and to get an album autographed. After Sal met his idol, he was delighted to see Springfield skimming through the pages of the book as he walked away.

As the audience members take their seats, we see that the stage is set with six guitars, a microphone, several stools, and a huge screen in the background. When the lights go down, the audience is treated to a Rick Springfield montage featuring images of the singer, songwriter, and actor, some of which include early spots on The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, and The Six Million Dollar Man. The audience cheers as images of Springfield as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital appear, as many recall this just happens to be the same time as when his #1 hit “Jessie’s Girl” came out.

We also view a clip of Oprah stating that if she had known there really was a “Jessie’s Girl,” the staff would have tried to bring her on the show with Springfield! And then we see a more recent image of Springfield with acting powerhouse, Meryl Streep, where the two shared the silver screen in Ricki and the Flash.

Clearly, Rick Springfield has had an incredible career that continues to span the decades, and every step of the way, his fans have been with him.

When Springfield takes the stage, audience members sing, clap, and some even dance, as the rock musician gets Stripped Down started with “I Get Excited.” Also impacted by the impending storm, Springfield discloses, “I guess we are here in Jersey for a couple of nights,” to audience cheers.

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

At this point, Springfield smoothly segues into “An Affair of the Heart.”

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

As he strums his guitar and sings, But don’t try to tell me, the audience doesn’t miss a beat singing, You think it’s all physical. It goes much deeper than that. You ought to know it’s an affair of the heart.

It cannot be denied as the evening progresses, that this song is a metaphor for the love shared between Rick and his multitude of worldwide fans, and the fans and their undying love for Springfield.

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

In addition to singing his most famous tunes, the artist also takes time to share heartwarming and often humorous stories of his life beginning with his early days including growing up in Australia, traveling the world as a military brat, the making of early life-long musical friendships, and the making of the music itself.

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

One of his earlier anecdotes dates back to 1968. Rick was 17 and he and his bandmates arrived in Vietnam via an open helicopter to entertain the troops. They assumed they would be protected, so they were surprised when they were questioned if they had any guns! As the concert began, they had to quickly take cover as grenades and bullets were flying just 50 yards away! All in all, Springfield exclaims, “It was pretty freaking scary!”

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

Some additional Stripped Down highlights include a mash-up of “Jessie’s Girl” and Tommy Tutone’s “867–5309 Jenny” along with a slice of The Knack’s “My Sharona,” thrown in just for fun.

Audience members are also delighted after Rick’s rendition of “The Human Touch” when Springfield shouts, “We all need the human touch!” and then runs into the audience for crowd surfing, selfies, and lots of hugs from his admiring fans.

The evening takes on a melancholy tone, as Springfield reveals he understands the yin and yang of life when his father passed away just as his career was taking off. He sadly states that his Mummy, too, recently passed in December, and Springfield pours open his heart singing “Four Billion Heartbeats” and “My Father’s Chair,” while audience members view family photos on the big screen.

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

At the song’s conclusion, Springfield uses his arm to wipe away tears as audience members stand and applaud these heart wrenching tunes.

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

The concert wraps up with Springfield disclosing that it was while he was taking a stained glass-making class, he became friendly with a man named Gary — and Gary’s girlfriend, for whom he soon began to develop feelings. He started putting the experience to music using the lyrics “Gary’s Girl,” but it just didn’t work. Once he changed the lyrics to “Jessie’s Girl,” however, he had his hit, and, as they say, the rest is history!

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

All in all, Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down is a nostalgic evening featuring laughter and tears, heartwarming stories, and wonderful music and guitar strumming.

Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down Tour LIVE! at BergenPAC

For more information on upcoming events featuring Rick Springfield please visit For more information on future performances at BergenPAC — including Itzhak Perlman on October 21st and Kathy Griffin on November 4th — please visit or call (866)753–9874.


Photos by Love Imagery

Love Imagery Fine Art Photography. all you need. peace/love/flower/power

State Theatre Presents Diana Krall: Turn Up the Quiet Tour
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Diana Krall live in concert as part of her Turn Up The Quiet World Tour on Friday, October 12 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $43-$153.50.  This concert will feature songs from Diana Krall’s stunning new album, Turn Up The Quiet, out now on Verve Records as well as a mix of some fan favorites. 
Kean Stage Presents The Manhattan Transfer
(UNION, NJ) -- Going strong after more than 45 years, Grammy Award winner The Manhattan Transfer, with tenor vocals from Kean University alumnus Alan Paul '71, will captivate Kean Stage audiences with their distinctive four-part harmonies at Enlow Recital Hall on Sunday, September 30 at 3:00pm.
3rd Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- The North Jersey Indie Rock Festival returns to Jersey City on October 6. Presented by Mint 400 Records and Sniffling Indie Kids, the festival includes acts from those labels and Little Dickman Records, Rhyme and Reason Records, and State Champion Records.  The festival takes place at White Eagle Hall. Doors are at 4:00pm and the music starts at 4:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
The Dryden Ensemble Presents Bach Cantata Fest
(PRINCETON, NJ) -- The Dryden Ensemble will present a Bach Cantata Fest on Saturday, October 20 at 7:30pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 6587 Upper York Road, Solebury, Pennsylvania, and on Sunday, October 21 at 3:00pm at Miller Chapel, located on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary, 64 Mercer Street, Princeton, New Jersey. Tickets are $25 for general admission and free to students with an ID. They may be purchased at the door or online at
Steve Barton & Robert Darlington From Translator To Perform at Randy Now's Man Cave
(BORDENTOWN, NJ) -- Whether it's pure pop or moody acoustic ballads, singer/songwriter/guitarist, Steve Barton, has developed a reputation for crafting some of the most literate and poignant music in underground rock.  In addition to being a founding member of the revered punk/psychedelic band Translator, perhaps best known for the Barton-penned song "Everywhere That I'm Not", he has released several solo albums.  The seventh and latest, "Tall Tales and Alibis", is a sprawling triple album tour de force filled with Steve's brand new songs, which was released in March by Sleepless Music.   To celebrate the release of the record, Barton will be making a rare live appearance with his Translator partner Robert Darlington, this Sunday, September 23 at Randy Now's Man Cave in Bordentown (134 Farnsworth Ave) at 7:00pm.  

From the Ballpark to the Concert Stage: Bernie Williams LIVE! at The Grunin Center
Fans of sports and music are lining up outside Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Saturday, September 8, 2018 for a concert by four-time World Series Champion and Latin Grammy-Nominated guitarist/composer Bernie Williams and his All-Star Band!
“Here’s Lucie!” Lucie Arnaz LIVE! at the PNC Bank Arts Center
Even though the weather outside Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center is cloudy with some light intermittent drizzle this Wednesday, September 12, 2018 afternoon, the venue’s stage is still shining brightly with talent thanks to a live performance by television, film, and stage actress/singer Lucie Arnaz!
Mike Aiken Talks About Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch At RVCC
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Raritan Valley Community College presents Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22.  The three-day event will feature a number of different musical shows by Mike Aiken, as well as other solo artists and groups.  
Virtuoso Jazz Violinist Jean-Luc Ponty LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
It’s a warm but lovely Aug. 23, 2018 evening here in Newton, NJ. After enjoying some hand-dipped Cliff’s ice cream from the window at Hayek Market, we march up Spring Street looking forward to hearing some world-class jazz at one of the Garden State’s favorite concert venues, The Newton Theatre.
An Interview with Bernie Williams
Four-time World Series Champion and Latin Grammy-Nominated guitarist and composer Bernie Williams will perform with his All-Star Band at the Jersey Shore this Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at The Grunin Center of the Arts in Toms River, NJ!

Event calendar
Saturday, Sep 22, 2018


Asbury Park Porchfest @ Booskerdoo, Asbury Park - 12:00pm

Carl Chesna & Co. @ Hotel Tides, Asbury Park - 1:00pm

Echoes @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

Cole Swindell @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

GRUPO NICHE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

The History of Motown @ Englewood Public Library, Englewood - 7:00pm

Drake Bell @ iPlay America, Freehold - 7:00pm

Classic Stones Live feat. The Glimmer Twins @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Opera Theatre of Montclair Presents Hansel and Gretel @ Central Presbyterian Church, Montclair - 4:00pm

Oscar D’León with Tony Vega and Los Hermanos Moreno @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 8:00pm

SunDog Band at Duffy's Tavern, Paterson NJ @ Duffy's Tavern, Paterson NJ, Paterson - 9:00pm

Celtic Thunder X @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Young Person's Concert @ River Dell Middle School Auditorium, River Edge - 1:00pm

Tigerman record release show for “Descend Into Savagery” @ Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Hubby Jenkins @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm


Souvenir @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 8:00pm

East Lynne Theater Company presents SILENT SKY @ First Presbyterian Church (Cape May), Cape May - 8:00pm

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm and 7:30pm

Incorruptible @ Ritz Theatre Company, Haddon Township - 8:00pm

West End Festival of the Arts- Theatre Brut Session 2 @ West End Arts Center, Long Branch - 2:00pm

Evita @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Seuls en Scene French Theater Festival - "Claire, Anton et Eux" @ Class of 1970 Theatre, Whitman College, Princeton - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

HUMAN ERROR by Eric Pfeffinger @ West Windsor Arts Center, Princeton Junction - 8:00pm

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Assisted Living: The Musical @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 2:00pm

Brick City @ Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union - 3:00pm


SWAN LAKE - THE ATLANTIC CITY BALLET @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 7:00pm

SOLE Defined @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm


Monthly Saturday Writing Retreats @ Tiferet Journal, Bernardsville - 9:00am

View all events


For more on our awards, click here

New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 |

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.