Wednesday night at Pepsi Center in Denver was a tale of two Illinois bands that were formed in 1967. Both Chicago and REO Speedwagon have extensive catalogs of songs. REO Speedwagon chose to play the hits, and Chicago decided to play their entire second album which was released in 1970.
From Champaign, IL, REO Speedwagon started up the night with Don’t Let Him Go and continued the Classic Rock ride with a slew of hits. Find the full set list in the slideshow. In between songs, lead singer Kevin Cronin explained that way back in the 70’s, he and his band would have one song that people would know and they’d have to save it for the end of the show. And that now, people know every song.
The audience got into the music a little more when REO Speedwagon started Take It On The Run. More people stood up and started dancing than before that song, but a small group of fans in the front stood from the beginning. REO Speedwagon had Kevin Cronin on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Dave Amato on lead guitar and vocals, Bruce Hall was on bass guitar and vocals, Neal Doughty was on keyboards, of course, and Bryan Hitt was on drums and percussion.
The music was plenty loud, so that even if you were stuck at Brooklyn’s across the street, maybe waiting for your bill or to finish that last drink, you could still hear every song. Maybe they were just playing to their aged audience. In any case, listeners seemed to enjoy themselves and sang out all the popular songs.
For more information about REO Speedwagon, check www.speedwagon.com.
When you’ve been around for so long, you get to do what you want, and in Chicago’s case, they chose to play Chicago (also known as Chicago II) in its entirety.
Chicago had Robert Lamm on keyboard and vocals, Lee Loughnane on trumpet and vocals, James Pankow having the time of his life on trombone, Walt Parazaider on woodwinds, Wally Reyes, Jr. on drums, Keith Howland on guitar and vocals, Lou Pardini on keyboards and vocals, Ray Herrmann on saxophone and flute, Neil Donell on vocals, Brett Simons on bass, and Danny Reyes on percussion.
Chicago kept up the Jazz/Rock and had concert goers grooving their extended set. Playing the hits may have gone over a little better with the Classic Rockers, but Illinois brought a lot of talent to the Mile High City. Check www.chicagotheband.com for more information.