Not all artists and orchestra go together, but Christopher Cross and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra were a perfect pairing at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA.
With Valentine's day earlier in the week, it was fitting for the orchestra to play romantic songs which came from major movies like Lady and the Tramp, An Affair to Remember, and the original version of “Unchained Melody” from Unchained. The orchestra played for a total of 40 minutes before being joined by Christopher Cross after an intermission.
In the end of 1979, Christopher Cross released his debut album which went 5x platinum and won five Grammys including Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Since then Cross has released 14 more studio albums, most recently Take Me As I Am, which was released last year.
Cross opened with the mostly instrumental song “Haila,” followed by his No. 1 hit “Sailing,” which won 3 Grammys in 1981. Cross also performed his Oscar-winning song “Arthur’s Theme (Best that you can do),” which was also a No. 1 single. Cross’s show also included an acoustic set of “Think Of Laura,” written for his friend Laura Carter who was killed by a stray bullet in 1982. There was a slideshow of photos “To put a face with her name,” as Cross said. The song was later used in General Hospital. Cross then played “Say You’ll Be Mine,” which originally included vocals from Nicolette Larson on his first album. Cross followed with “Spinning,” also from his debut album which was recorded with Valerie Carter who passed away last year.
Before Cross played “Swept Away,” he added some humor to the show by saying “Had a couple of those special days myself” referring to both his marriages. Cross also made a joke while drinking water which he said he never does and referenced Paul McCartney because of his long shows without drinking water onstage and said: “Great minds think alike.” Cross had the audience laughing again before “Minstrel Gigolo,” when discussing the context of the song which is about groupies. Cross said, “They were like mermaids, never saw one.” Cross also said, “When Glenn Frey and Don Henley brought me out to open for the Eagles, they taught me all about it, they were professionals.” Cross also mentioned how it was a “Thing of the past like hair and things I had at the time.” A drum solo from Keith Carlock, also a member of a Steely Dan’s touring band, led into “No Time For Talk.”
To close the show Cross performed the hit “Ride Like The Wind,” famously known for Michael McDonald’s backing vocals and a great guitar solo from Cross. On the screen, there was footage from various classic Western films shown. Cross returned for an encore of John Lennon’s “Imagine, which he dedicated to the families of Stoneman Douglas Highschool in Parkland, Florida with the recent shooting that occurred on Feb. 14. When the song finished Cross said “You all be good to each other, we’ll see again soon” before walking off stage. The show last just under 90 minutes. After nearly 4 decades of music, Cross still sounds incredible as well as having great guitar skills.