Lionel Richie Brought 'All The Hits' To The Amway Center

Richie rocked Orlando "All Night Long."

March 10, 2019

Like a greatest hits album come to life, Lionel Richie's All The Hits tour was precisely that, giving the modest Amway Center crowd exactly what they came for.

After an unexpected delay, which seemed to sour the mood of the audience momentarily, Richie kicked things off at the piano with Easy, the hit he shared with the Commodores in 1977. With a simple stage setup, the focus of the evening was on Richie and the tunes as the perpetually youthful-looking superstar ran through his catalog of hits.

"How long has it been? I feel like a family reunion out here, Orlando," Richie said before introducing Eustis born Thomas McClary, founder of the Commodores, who happened to be in the crowd.

"For those who haven't seen me in a long time, I will tell you what has changed," he told the audience. "You might have come here to hear me sing but that's not what is going to happen," he explained as he said that it would probably be those sitting next to you and behind you that you would hear singing. And he wasn't wrong. "Penny Lover," the next song in his string of hits, proved that point.

The slower ballads, like "Truly," seemed to be the true fan fan favorites, even if the range of the song seemed to take its toll on Richie's vocals oh so many years later.

"Dancing on the Ceiling" got the audience on their feet and found Richie frantically working the stage, infusing some gospel tinges to the 1986 hit from the album of the same name. He even teased a little of Van Halen's "Jump" in the juiced up rendition.

Richie brought the audience into the show throughout the night, giving his own humorous interpretations as to what he was seeing from the stage. "How is it possible that the top half of you is doing one thing and the bottom doing something else," he joked about one lady's questionable dance moves. 

"This next song did one of three things," he said. "It either got you engaged, married or got you in a whole lot of trouble." He was referring to the gorgeous "Three Times A Lady."  

With a huge reception for "Three Times A Lady," and the subsequent "Sail On," Richie quipped that he probably could have just come with Commodores tunes and the audience would have been just as happy.

When it came time for "Endless Love," the theme from the 1981 film of the same name which has since become a wedding staple, he spoke of his duet partner, Diana Ross. "I have been asking Miss Diana Ross to sing on this stage for 34 years. And she has refused," he said, before introducing her just to prove that once again, she wasn't there. In her absence he recruited the women of the audience to fill in for Miss Ross during an abbreviated version of the song.

Moving into "Brickhouse," he once again pointed out McClary, recalling how for five years they toured the country judging Miss Brickhouse contests wherever they went.

The ultimate sing along song came next with "Hello." As the song goes..."You know just what to do." And the audience definitely did. The same went for another crowd pleaser, "Say You, Say Me."

Speaking on how the songs seem to move so many people, he said it was all about the memories they conjure. Families, friends, and occasions. "We have been on a journey together," he said. "Well the Commodores and I would like to take this time to thank you."

He also acknowledged his peers, many of whom are no longer with us, calling out Aretha Franklin, David Bowie and Prince among others by name. One deceased legend that he did not mention by name, presumably because of the current controversy surrounding him in regards to the documentary Leaving Neverland, was Michael Jackson. But even though his name wasn't explicitly mentioned, he did receive recognition. "There is a song that I wrote with a very talented individual and I want to sing that song tonight," Richie announced before launching into "We Are The World," the charity single co-written by Jackson and Richie.

The show concluded with a one-song encore, the perfect way to send the fans of all ages on their way out the door, "All Night Long." It was clear that even though the 69-year-old singer has been performing many of these songs for decades, he still genuninely loves performing them, and that's why all we need are "All The Hits."