Thanks to a rich catalog rich of Billboard hits, including “All Out of Love,” “The One That You Love,” “Lost in Love” and “Even the Nights Are Better,” Air Supply is fittingly considered the king of romantic anthems.
Ever since joining forces in 1975, Russell Hitchcock, he of the soaring tenor voice, and Graham Russell, the genius behind the beautifully-crafted, catchy tunes, have wowed audiences all over the world and kept Air Supply in the hearts of fans for almost five decades.
The Australian duo, who have played more than 5,000 dates together, will head to the Birchmere August 6, as part of their “Lost in Love Experience” tour.
Air Supply was able to do some live streams earlier this year, but the Birchmere show is its first in front of a live crowd.
“We’re coming back with a vengeance,” Russell said. “I think people are very eager to get out there and see live music of any kind again. And so are we. We’re booked through 2023, so it’s just the beginning of a really busy time for us.”
At the show, Air Supply will be playing all the hits and fan-favorites, and with so many, that doesn’t leave much room for anything else.
“We don’t have a lot of slots in our show to experiment because fortunately, we’ve had so many hit songs and we need to play those,” Russell said. “People come to see us in droves to hear hit songs. And I do love playing them all still—they are like children.”
Still, there’s room for a couple of surprises, and Russell likes to introduce a new song every night to the set list to change things up.
While a lot of artists have hit songs, it’s somewhat unique that Air Supply’s tunes continue to be timeless, heard over and over on the radio, in TV shows and movies.
“They really span different generations,” Russell said. “People love to hear them. ‘All Out of Love’ has been in 20 movies already. I think the simplicity of the songs has been a key to their appeal. We’re not trying to give any particular message except to love everyone. These songs have become a soundtrack for people’s lives.”
During the pandemic, Russell continued doing what he does best—write. He was commissioned to write a musical called “Dead Certain,” and wrote an album with his other band, Of Eden.
“I’ve been writing furiously and I was busy the whole time, actually,” he said. “Plus, it was nice to spend some time at home. But I really made use of the time because I knew it was going to be a while, so I really dug in and got into the trenches.”
He really enjoyed his experience with the musical since it gave him a new challenge and he’s loved the theatre since he first got into performing.
“As a seasoned songwriter, someone who has been writing for decades, it was a nice way to do a different kind of thing,” Russell said. “Normally when I write for the band, I have a wide canvass and I can really create whatever I want, but this kept me enclosed in boundaries, which was a little more challenging, and I liked that.”
While he did enjoy doing something different, Russell is definitely ready to get pack to live performances, though he’s not sure he will be 100 percent from the get-go.
“I want to see if I still have the muscle memory to do what I need to do,” he said. “You don’t really think about what you’re doing out there on stage, it’s just automatic. You spend all your time with the audience. You can’t think about it, you just have to do it. My hope is I have all that still, but I’ll probably be missing chords or missing lyrics, but I think that’s to be understood.”
Air Supply tries to come to Birchmere every tour and it’s one of their favorite stops in the states.
“We hope to see people come out and we want them to know that we are just as happy to be out as they are to be there,” Russell said. “We want to let people know it’s ok to go out and enjoy music again. I just try to stay positive and look forward to every morning.”