Lionel Richie Coming Home Tour Concert

Andrea and I was fortunate enough to catch Lionel Richie’s sold-out Coming Home Concert Tour at Oakland’s Paramount Theater, one of the two only concerts he’s doing in California (the other one in Hollywood) after a long concert hiatus. But before delving into the review, I would like to talk a bit about the venue.

The Paramount Theater is actually quite nice. We both love the cabaret-style venue decor of the place. Seating of the place is limited to 1,380 theater seats. The acoustics of the setup is pretty good, although I personally find the bass is always set a bit too high for my taste. The place has always been kept well organized and tidy the two times we have been there so far. The restroom stalls for the ladies and gentlemen are plentiful, although a bit difficult to find at first because of its fancy setup, and the couches to rest and/or wait is nicely set in a lounge area before the entrance to each individual restroom.

Lionel Richie was late to start, the concert was slated to start at 8:00 p.m., but him and his band did not arrive on stage to perform until about 8:30 p.m., lasting until about 10:30 p.m.. Lionel Richie, in my opinion, performed wonderfully doing such hits as: “Hello”, “I Call It Love”, and oldies like “Just To Be Close To You”, “Brick House”. He is definitely an energetic performer constantly including the audience from cracking jokes to having sing-a-longs, although at times it was getting a bit distracting because he was spending more time talking and joking with the audience than performing. But when he did perform, he had people out of their seats, dancing and screaming.

Andrea didn’t like the concert so much mainly due to the lyrical and tempo changes in many of Lionel’s songs. It seemed that because we were a smaller crowd, he wanted to experiment with us to see what changes he can adapt into his bigger concerts.

I would have taken some pictures, but unfortunately, the Paramount Theater has a no camera policy, although I did see people had snuck in their portable point-and-shoots (some were using their flash) and others had resorted to taking pictures with their phones. I could have snuck in my D100 with the Nikkor 185mm f/2.8 lens as they’re security seemed a bit lax: no bag checks, no frisking or pat-downs, and no emptying of pockets.

All in all, we both had fun. The champagne (Korbel) cost $6, water (some cheap brand) cost $4, and soda was $2. No drinks other than bottled water is allowed in the theater area, which in some ways is good because it keeps the floors cleaner.

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