Singer Kenny Loggins gives performance in downtown
Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Updated: Saturday, June 2, 2012 14:06
On Saturday night, fans “cut footloose” and went right into the danger zone as the artist they were waiting to see rocked downtown Orlando.
Kenny Loggins, a musician who has penned songs for films like Top Gun, Footloose and Caddyshack, performed a free concert in downtown Orlando as part of 98.9 WMMO’s Downtown Concert Series. The series has been around for more than 21 years, said Kristi Nguyen, senior promotions coordinator for 98.9 WMMO and News Talk WDBO 96.5. She said artists are selected based upon what the radio station’s audience finds appealing.
“I think a lot has to go into it,” she said. “We find an artist that is a good fit for the radio station, is in our price range and is also available to come on the date that we’re trying to look for.”
Loggins performed in front of a packed crowd on the corner of Orange Avenue and Amelia Street. Fans could even be found viewing the show from every floor of a parking garage located at this intersection. He performed many of his familiar hits, such as “Danger Zone,” the popular track from the film Top Gun that featured Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards as Navy fighter pilots learning aerial combat skills in the Top Gun program.
He also performed “Footloose,” the hit song from the movie with the same name starring Kevin Bacon, as well as “I’m Alright” from the film Caddyshack. Audience members stood up and danced to both of these songs.
Along with the popular upbeat songs, he also performed ballads such as “Celebrate Me Home,” a song that featured a guitar solo by guitarist Scott Bernard. Audience members stood up and applauded the performance. Another song performed was “Forever,” one of Loggins’ ballads. Absent from his set, however, were some of his other hit songs featured in movies, such as “Playing with the Boys,” an up-tempo rock track from Top Gun, and “Meet Me Half Way,” a popular ballad from the film Over the Top, starring Sylvester Stallone.
The event started at 5 p.m., and a local band called 3 Bucksworth performed three sets as Loggins’ opening act, featuring renditions from artists from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. Their set included songs like “Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp and “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum.
Nguyen said the station booked Loggins in a hurry but was excited to be able to book him.
“This one was different than normally,” she said. “We probably found out within a week, heard he was available. We were like, ‘There’s no way in heck we’d be able to get Kenny Loggins.’”
Audience members all had unique reactions to the show. Lori Marsilio, a resident of Orlando who works in the mortgage and real-estate business, found herself perched up on the third floor of the garage on Amelia Street and Orange Avenue to see the show. She said she is a big fan of Loggins but was disappointed with the quality of the audio. She said she moved to different areas to try to hear the show better, but to no avail.
“You couldn’t understand any of it because the sound sucked,” she said. “I was in the garage, I came outside, and I was up front, I was in the back and the sound was crap.”
Eric Brothers, a UCF alumnus from 1991 who graduated with a degree in forensic science, remembers Loggins from the mid-1980s. He said he remembered him from films like Caddyshack and Top Gun.
“I really liked it. It was one of those things where I knew more of the songs than I thought I did,” Brothers said. “I just didn’t know that Kenny Loggins actually sang them.”
He said one of his favorite songs by Loggins is the well-known hit from the movie Top Gun.
“It’s really hard to pass up ‘Danger Zone,’" he said. “It’s hard to get past ‘Danger Zone,’ because it’s one of those songs that kind of defines the ’80s in a sense. I think it’s one of the top 10 songs of the ’80s.”
Loggins will continue to be on tour across several locations in the U.S. until Oct. 7, according to his official website. Nguyen said the next artist for the concert series has not been selected. Visit www.wmmo.com to keep up with future events from 98.9 WMMO.