Kenny Loggins in his recent memoir “Still Alright” semi-facetiously noted that “at 50, I was just old. At 60, I was somehow cool. By 70, I was an icon. That is how it works isn’t it?”
Now at age 75, the affable Loggins is ready to wrap up the touring part of his life after more than 50 years on the road.
“My friends refer to it as the first final tour,” said Loggins, who is appearing at Ameris Bank Ampihtheatre in Alpharetta Saturday. (A few tickets still remain at livenation.com starting at $33.50 on the lawn.) “I’d like it to be my final tour. I put in my time. It gets harder and harder physically each year.”
He said while he loves to perform, all the prep work turns him off. “Eh,” he said. “I’ve done it. Let’s do something else. Your next question is, ‘What is that?’ I don’t know. There are plenty of what else is there’s to look at.”
Loggins is not a marathoner like Bruce Springsteen or Taylor Swift. His Atlanta concert will be a tight 16-song, 100-minute celebration of his career.
“I run out of juice at about 90 minutes,” he said. “It’s suddenly like running wind sprints uphill. And while I’d love to do a show with deeper cuts for hardcore fans, that’s a lot to ask for an audience.”
So instead, the set list will be heavy on the hits. “I can’t do a show without ‘Footloose’ or ‘Danger Zone,’ “ he said, referencing his two biggest 1980s soundtrack hits. “But I don’t want to do a show without them anyway.”
He does sprinkle in songs that have a deeper meaning to him like “Conviction of the Heart,” which became an unofficial anthem for environmentalists in the 1990s.
He also plays “It’s About Time,” the last time he co-wrote a song with his buddy Michael McDonald. (They co-wrote the iconic Doobie Brothers song “What a Fool Believes.”) It’s from his independent album in 2003 of the same name that he said hardly anybody heard after he was dropped by Sony Records in 1998. “I love the song and I’ve never had a chance to perform it,” he said.
“It’s About Time” during the concert will also feature a Los Angeles dance troupe he hired to choreograph a pre-recorded video to accompany his live performance. For him, it helps give the audience a visceral boost. “We play to a click so we have the groove the same every night,” he said. “And the video is triggered by the snap of the stick on the drum pad.”
So far on the tour, which began last month, Loggins sounds as strong as ever, based on YouTube videos of his performances.
This isn’t by accident. He started having trouble hitting high notes after the pandemic began, which freaked him out. “I thought this was what getting old was,” he said. But he decided to hire Ken Stacey, a vocal coach who has also helped Richard Marx.
“Within three months,” he said, “I had my voice back. I have gotten higher and higher notes. ... I’ve gone from a B-flat being my highest note from my good days in the ‘80s to a C-sharp now, which is a big deal. I’m breaking a lifetime of bad habits.”
He does have his limits. He used to have “Nobody’s Fool” from “Caddyshack 2″ on his set, but it was difficult to do: “If I don’t use the proper technique, a song like that could burn me out for the rest of the show.”
The opener for Loggins is Atlanta’s own Yacht Rock Revue, which has its own huge following mostly covering hits by the likes of Loggins, Christopher Cross and Hall and Oates. “I wanted an opening act that could sell tickets and would not be intimidating or steal the show but be very entertaining,” he said. “They fit the bill. The question was, ‘Do I want to embrace the yacht rock moniker?’”
Ultimately, he did because it gave a name to the type of music he was doing in the 1970s and early 1980s like “Whenever I Call You Friend,” “This is It” and “Heart to Heart.”
>>RELATED: The origin story of Yacht Rock Revue
And Loggins said the yacht rock phenomenon and animated cameos on FX’s “Archer” and Fox’s “Family Guy” in recent years has helped bring a younger audience to his shows. He even DJed Los Santos Rock Radio on the video game “Grand Theft Auto.” “My kids talked me into that,” he said.
Loggins said his legacy covers a broad array of musical styles, which made it hard to pin down his persona to the public at times.
“I didn’t have a consistent image like Bruce Springsteen or James Taylor,” he said. “I was kind of a moving target. I moved from country rock to what was known as yacht rock and I’ve gotten into the jazzier, R&B thing. Then I had that rock period with the black leather jacket. I think that made me a harder sell.”
IF YOU GO
8 p.m. Saturday, May 6. $33.50-$354, Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. concerts.livenation.com
Loggins appears to be doing more or less the same set every night so here is what you’ll likely hear on Saturday at Ameris:
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