Lightning, rain halt Stockbridge ‘80s icons concert midway through

A concert featuring ‘80s icons Rick Springfield, Men at Work and John Waite at the Stockbridge Amphitheater was brought to a halt midway through Saturday night because of intense lightning.

Men at Work had performed just two songs in their set when lead singer Colin Hay said, “Sorry. Lightning,” and left the stage around 8:40 p.m.

For almost two hours, fans waited patiently for the outdoor concert to resume, vigorously clapping every time a worker walked across the stage. But the event was called off by Stockbridge Mayor Anthony Ford around 10:20 p.m. By that time, it was raining.

“Unfortunately,” Ford said, as the crowd started booing in anticipation of his next words, “we have to postpone the concert to be safe. But keep your tickets because we are going to work out an alternate date.”

Ford did not say whether fans who can’t return would get a refund. City ordinance mandates concerts at the Stockbridge Amphitheater end by 11 p.m.

Headliner Rick Springfield appeared onstage with Ford, much to the delight of the audience and a group of women who had crowded at the foot of the stage to get of a glimpse of the “Jessie’s Girl” singer. Springfield promised to come back and fulfill his commitment to perform.

“The chance of someone getting struck by lightning is incredibly remote but they can’t take a chance,” he said. “We will come back.”

Credit: LEON STAFFORD/AJC

Credit: LEON STAFFORD/AJC

The concert, however, wasn’t a total wash. John Waite squeezed in a tight 20-minute set at the beginning of the concert when the skies were still sunny, singing “Change,” from the ‘80s classic film “Vision Quest,” and his biggest solo hit, “Missing You.”

The Babys singer closed with a full-throated cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” that brought the crowd to its feet.