Dick Vitale’s live-tweeting of Lionel Richie is priceless

Of course, music journalism isn’t as easy at it looks—Vitale’s recapping tweets mostly thrive as CAPSLOCKED upvotes for Richie’s catalog. 

Mar 2, 2020, 1:16 am*

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Ramon Ramirez

Quick, what do college basketball and Lionel Richie have in common?

Monday night at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Fla., iconic college hoops analyst Dick Vitale not only took in Richie’s headlining set, but made time to file an exuberant live scene report. Of course, music journalism isn’t as easy at it looks—Vitale’s recapping tweets mostly thrive as CAPSLOCKED upvotes for Richie’s catalog. 

Within an hour Monday evening, Vitale took off his hoops hat—tweeting about incoming SMU freshman Emmanuel Mudiay’s decision to leave school and play overseas—and jumped into full on fanboy mode. 

Then it’s a night-long series of hearty Richie wonder. Early on, his emphatic support could be mistaken for promotional glad-handing as Vitale was a backstage presence, taking photos with Richie’s management, opener Cee-Lo, and assorted backup dancers.

But once Richie hit the stage, Dickie V. proved himself a legacy fan with astute deep-cut knowledge. 

Incidentally, I had to cover this tour for my hometown newspaper last year. Hashing out a live song-by-song rundown is harder than it seems—but not if you’re a bonafide Lionel fan like Vitale. Moreover, his postmortem was succinct and profound.

He was likewise happy to retweet a fan.

And then, subtly and masterfully, Vitale slid back into sports mode with a nonchalant question about Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby.

Bonus mosh: Check out this Spotify playlist of Richie’s setlist from the 2013 Austin City Limits festival.

Photo via BGSU University Libraries/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Jul 15, 2014, 12:11 pm