In 2009, REO Speedwagon released its first holiday album, Not So Silent Night…Christmas with REO Speedwagon. The 13-song collection found the Indiana rockers reworking such yuletide classics as "Deck the Halls," "The Little Drumer Boy," John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and, of course, "Silent Night." Now, just in time for the holidays, the band has issued an expanded version of the album with three bonus tracks.
The revamped record features revised cover art, plus a new acoustic tune by frontman Kevin Cronin titled "I Believe in Santa Claus," as well as REO's renditions of "Sleigh Ride" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." The CD is available now at REO Speedwagon's official online store for $15. Click here to view article.
Everyone knows them as REO Speedwagon.
Playing to an almost full house at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Saturday, 66 year old founding member Neal Doughty was the first to make it onstage. Leaving their walkers behind the rest of the crew slowly made their way onstage I know they didn't have walkers, quite the contrary these guys were in great shape.
As for the name REO Speedwagon, Doughty named the band after a flatbed truck he studied in college called Ransom E. Olds Speed Wagon, commonly referred to as Reo Speed Wagon. Doughty decided to call the band R.E.O. rather than Reo.
Joining Doughty onstage were Kevin Cronin (lead vocals, guitar), Bruce Hall (bass), Dave Amato (lead guitar), Bryan Hitt (drums). They warmed up the audience with "Don't Let Him Go" and "Music Man," then kicking it up a notch with "Take It on the Run," as the audience provided supporting vocals.
At some point during the show the 58 year old Hitt decided to take his shirt off. Most of the audience cheered, but come on!! He's 58 dude give us a break! At least Steven Tyler stopped the practice some time ago (at least for the most part).
Continuing on with "Keep Pushin'," "Golden Country," and "Can't Fight This Feeling," the audience became somewhat subdued, but remained engaged throughout the concert, just not on their feet cheering on the band.
As the band left and came back for their encore, they lost quite a few fans as they headed for the exits. Their encore included "Keep on Lovin' You," "Ridin' the Storm Out," and ended with "157 Riverside Avenue." Even more fans started filing out after "Keep on Lovin' You."
During their encore the audience was completely engaged with "Keep on Lovin' You," but once they started "157 Riverside Avenue," most of the fans were back in their seats, or headed for the doors. They really should have ended the night with "Keep on Lovin' You."
Cronin did an excellent job with vocals and sounds much like he did all those years ago. While his voice is a bit more gravelly, I believe it's enhanced his sound.
All in all it was a good concert. There were some rough spots in the middle and they could have ended on a better note, but Cronin and crew did a great job keeping the audiences attention with plenty of picks flying through the air.
AQUARIAN WEEKLY (weekly NY/NJ Entertainment publication; circulation: 40,000): Secured live review of the 7/1 Atlantic City show by Nadine Umbenhouer-Fern. Run date: August 1 issue.
BANGOR The Midwest Rock'N'Roll Express Tour came to Bangor's Waterfront Pavilion Sunday to play the last date of a tour that RollingStone Magazine called one of the hottest for Summer 2012.
Ready to rock and shock, Ted Nugent and his band of heavy-hitting talent, Derek St. Holmes, Greg Smith, and "Wild" Mick Brown, started the night playing full throttle from the get-go.
The nine-song set list covered classics "Wango Tango" and "Cat Scratch Fever" as well as a great blues/Motown treat with REO's Dave Amato. After the band wrapped up with "Stranglehold," a fellow attendee announced, "I didn't know I was a Ted Nugent fan. That was incredible!"
And yes, it was.
Styx opened with "Blue Collar Man," the first in a long list of the night's iconic keyboard lead-ins. Performing favorites as far back as "Lorelei," their high energy kept fans on their feet. Tommy Shaw and James "JY" Young continually engaged the crowd and it was thrilling to watch them perform. Keyboardist Lawrence Gowan's showmanship provided highlight moments.
Styx was joined by founding member Chuck Panozzo for much of the show. Notably, Bangor fans had a special treat when Ted Nugent joined Styx with his tiger-striped guitar to perform "Coming of Age," a Damn Yankees hit he shares with Tommy Shaw.
Wrapping up with "Renegade," Styx could have just stayed on stage and played it all again the fans would have let them.
In ending the night, REO Speedwagon's front man Kevin Cronin was as solid as ever during the band's 12-song set. With heavy guitars, Neal Doughty's signature keyboards, and Bryan Hitt's ceaseless assault on the drum kit, REO covered the hits from the album "Hi Infidelity," as well as older tunes before closing the night with the classic, "Ridin' the Storm Out."
When Styx, Reo Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent announced that they were teaming up this summer for the 'Midwest Rock 'N Roll Express' tour, the classic rock gods had to have smiled down from above knowing they had crafted the perfect trifecta.
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