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. 

 

Ramon Ramirez

Streaming

Published Jul 15, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 11:11 pm CDT

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

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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. 

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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. 

Going tonight to hear the great sound of @LionelRichie & the Voice of @CeeLoGreen – They r #AWESOMEBABY https://t.co/IkE0tHIoZI

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 14, 2014

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.

Having a blast pre Lionel w/ @benjaminmauro & @rkstarprincess pic.twitter.com/68RC85WFkm

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 14, 2014

Talking with Stacie & @LionelRichie‘s tour mgr ! pic.twitter.com/B3jTAv3zBT

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 14, 2014

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

Lionel awesome – ON MY WAY @LionelRichie

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

Lionel Fabulous baby @LionelRichie STUCK ON YOU

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

Lionel rocking the house -DANCING ON THE CEILING @LionelRichie #HITMACHINE

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

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Lionel winning the ladies hearts ONCE TWICE 3 TIMES A LADY – #HITMACHINE

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

The Hits keep rolling On – Commodores SAIL ON – really dig @LionelRichie #HITMACHINE @JimmyTraina @jksports

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

A little FANCY DANCER @LionelRichie #HITMACHINE a fabulous entertainer

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

The show is Awesome Baby LADY @LionelRichie #HITMACHINE

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

Hits after Hits @LionelRichie JUST TO BE CLOSE TO YOU #HITMACHINE

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

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Wow ENDLESS LOVE -hugging my bride – Tears baby ! @LionelRichie #HITMACHINE

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

Fantastic SAY YOU SAY ME @LionelRichie #HITMACHINE

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

Commodore Time @LionelRichie BRICK HOUSE #HITMACHINE

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

The man has stage presence @LionelRichie HELLO #HITMACHINE

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

A little encore by @LionelRichie THE MAN IS FILLED WITH SO MUCH FEELING – WE ARE THE WORLD / Dedicated to Michael Jackson #HITMACHINE

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

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The guy has so much energy @LionelRichie ALL NIGHT LONG #HITMACHINE A fantastic concert – Want to go again

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

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.

Had no idea @LionelRichie was a fantastic entertainer-Knew he was a fab singer We had something in common both operated on by Dr Zeitels

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

He was likewise happy to retweet a fan.

@DickieV it was a pleasure sitting behind you @LionelRichie #DanceMachine pic.twitter.com/OUXfUGTASD

— Debra Pesek (@DebraPesek) July 15, 2014

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

How was the HR derby ?

— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) July 15, 2014

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 CDT