Loggins is never going to go down in history as an artist of tremendous social importance. Songs like "Danger Zone" and "House on Pooh Corner" just won't put him in the same category as a Bob Dylan or a Bruce Springsteen or Tracy Chapman.
Then again, Dylan, Springsteen and Chapman can't make you dance like Loggins can. And on a night as brutally cold as Saturday, you would much rather dance than sit back and ponder the complexities of an artist's music.Backed by a sizzling five-man electrical band, Loggins turned on the boyish charm, turned up the sound and turned out a heated performance that left everyone dancing and cheering long after the two-hour show was over.
The turnout for the concert - about 8,000 - was surprisingly good, considering this is the third time in the past year that Loggins has played a Utah venue. And judging from the crowd response, Loggins could probably come back again in another three or four months and sell another 8,000 tickets.
The reason is simple: Loggins gives the crowd exactly what it wants to see and hear.
What Loggins' music lacks in substance he more than makes up for with style. The production is slick and polished, and Loggins delivers with a liberal dose of charm.
Loggins is a master of playing the crowd, pausing after almost every song to share a story, tell a joke or encourage the crowd to new levels of excitement and participation, such as asking the audience to sing happy birthday to him.
And it all worked like a proverbial charm.
Concertgoers may have started out frozen to their seats, but it didn't take more than four or five songs to get most people moving and shaking. And with a repertoire of hits like "This Is It," "She's Dangerous" from the new album and the quintessential boogie tune "Footloose," Loggins gave Salt Lake fans a lot to dance about.
And when the crowd got tired of dancing, Loggins threw in a romantic ballad to change the pace. The best were "Back to Avalon" and "Celebrate Me Home." Then it was back to dancing.
Most of Loggins' material was enveloped in a blanket of flashing colored lights and sound effects, all of which hid the fact that Loggins is at his best when he allows his personality to shine through all the glitz - like when he took more than 30 minutes to sit at center stage and play old Loggins and Messina tunes on his acoustic guitar. A good share of the crowd was not even born when Loggins first started singing "Danny's Song" or "House on Pooh Corner" or "Your Mama Don't Dance." But everybody knew the words.
And there's no better therapy for a cold winter's night than singing along to an old Loggins and Messina tune or dancing along to a new one.