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REO Speedwagon and Chicago Back On The Road Again: Greek Theatre Review

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Chciago and REO Speedwagon Concert

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At first REO Speedwagon and Chicago may seem like an odd combination, but it worked very well. Last time Reo came to the Greek was with Styx in 2012.

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Reo Speedwagon started their set with one of their biggest hits "Don't Let Him Go." The band was great, however the sound volume was too low. Reo Speedwagon always puts on a great show and has their fans on their floor singing with each song. The hits continued with "Take It On The Run," "Keep Pushin'," "Can't Fight this feeling" "That Ain't Love," "Time For Me To Fly," and ended with "Back On The Road Again." The reason for the short set was the co-headline with Chicago and an encore of 6 songs with both bands. The band is Kevin Cronin (Vocals) original member Neal Doughty (Keys), Bruce Hall (bass), and the last members are Bryan Hitt (Drums) and Dave Amato (guitar) who both joined in 1989 and have with the band since. This is the best you''ll get to the classic lineup. Hitt is a great drummer and always brings up the band while Amato doesn't just play great guitar solos but always wows the audience. Cronin sounds as great as ever, Hall get's the fans going while running around the stage, and Doughty is great on everything whether keyboard, organ or piano

Chicago hit the stage around 9:10.
The party started with a great instrumental introduction giving each of these top notch musicians a chance to do a solo and show us a quick glance of the talent we are gonna witness during the rest of the show. First run of many hits start with "Make Me Smile", "So Much To Say, So Much To Give" and "Colour My World", followed by the first and only new song they will play tonight from the latest album, XXXVI, the song that gives a name to the album, "Now".
Once again the super talented Jason Scheff (bass and vocals), shows us why he deserves, the one and only, Peter Cetera's spot in the band, performing a stellar job on the XVII's ballads, "Hard Habit To Break" and "You're The Inspiration".
Two old ones from the first album "The Chicago Transit Authority", "Beginnings" and the groovy Spencer David's Group cover, "I'm A Man". This last one containing in the middle an amazing Drums and Percussion Duel between Tris Imboden (Neil Diamond, Richard Marx, Steve Vai) and one of the busiest Percussionists nowadays, Walfredo Reyes Jr. (Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin, Richard Marx, Steve Winwood, etc).

Funk takes over with Street Player, and James Pankow jokes about the next song being responsible for 2 parts of the audience... the one that was married to it, and the one who was conceived to it... "Just You 'N' Me".
Another awaited hit, "Saturday In The Park", is followed by a rockin medley of "Hard To Say I' Sorry", "Get Away" and "Feel Stronger Every Day", where the band finally gets a chance to get as close to hard rock as you will ever see Chicago play... Keith Howland shreds over Tris's double bass!

A high energy ending for their set, which as expected would lead into an encore with both bands sharing stage. It took seconds for the roadie to squeeze both drum sets onstage before all the musicians were back onstage. This time with 1 percussionist, 3 guitars, 2 keyboards , 1 keytar, 2 basses, 3 horn section plus the 2 previously mentioned drummers, there's only fun coming up.
They jammed over some random riff for about 20 seconds before starting with REO's "Ridin' The Storm Out". Now they would take turns to play tunes from each band like "Free" (Chicago), "Keep On Lovin' You" (REO), "Does ANybody Really KnoW What Time It Is?" (Chicago), "Roll With The Changes" (REO), and "25 or 6 to 4" (Chicago) where Keith cuts a string so he starts messing around and throwing picks at Dave while he was soloing. It was a fun jam, interesting to see how this two bands blended in together, REO's sounded a little more powerful in my opinion. Also great seeing musicians from REO soloing and signing leads on Chicago's songs and vice-versa. Just a talented group of musicians having fun with no egos.

Chicago Review: Alan Sosa

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