I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard from another that two of the 1980’s biggest hit makers will be messing around at the Encanterra Country Club in San Tan Valley, Arizona on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the annual Good Life Festival. If you like your cities built on rock and roll and are known to roll with the changes, then perhaps it’s a good idea to catch both Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and REO Speedwagon on that Saturday afternoon.
March in Phoenix means spring training with a flurry of teams and visitors arriving in Arizona from the Midwest. Add to the mix REO Speedwagon who was formed in Illinois and remains proud of their Midwest heritage. Beginning in April, they’ll once again co-headline the Midwest Rock and Roll Express Tour, a repeat of last year’s outings with fellow Midwest artists, Styx and Ted Nugent. It’s not surprising that REO Speedwagon might help shake off any winter rust with a visit to Arizona in the spring.
Formed in 1967 with current keyboard player, Neal Doughty, REO Speedwagon had some moderate success with their 1973 album, “Ridin’ The Storm Out.” In 1978, with current bass player Bruce Hall and “the voice” of REO Speedwagon, Kevin Cronin, now on board, the band released the best named album ever, “You Can Tune a Piano, but Can’t Tuna Fish.” The album’s two singles “Roll With the Changes,” and “Time for Me to Fly,” became FM radio staples.
In 1980 the band released “Hi Infidelity,” a more pop oriented album, which ended up selling more than 10 million copies due to the success of such songs as “Keep On Loving You,” “Take It On the Run,” and “Don’t Let Him Go.” Later 1980’s REO Speedwagon hits included the number one song “Can’t Fight This Feeling.”
Starship was officially formed in 1984 as an offshoot of Jefferson Starship, itself an offshoot of the 1960’s popular San Francisco band Jefferson Airplane. With the voice of lead singer Mickey Thomas, Jefferson Starship scored a top 20 hit with “Jane” in 1979. Thomas was already no stranger to success having been the vocalist for Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”
Starship’s debut album, 1985’s “Knee Deep in the Hoopla,” yielded two number one hits, “We Built This City on Rock and Roll” and “Sara.” The album continued the pop oriented direction of Jefferson’s Starship’s final album, 1984’s “Nuclear Furniture,” and its two popular singles, “Layin’ It On the Line” and “No Way Out.”
Further cementing Starship’s success in the 1980’s was the release of the single, “Nothing‘s Gonna Stop Us Now” from the movie “Mannequin.” The song was not only a number one hit, it also was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
Live music at Saturday’s Good Life Festival is expected to begin at 2:30 p.m. followed by Starship scheduled to be on stage at around 4 p.m. and REO Speedwagon between 6-6:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale through the Good Life Festival’s website and run $35 for reserved seating and $25 for lawn seating. There is currently a $10 discount being offered off of all ticket pricing which is available while supplies last.