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article imageReview: REO Speedwagon charms at Jones Beach Theater in New York Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 18, 2014 in Music
Wantagh - On August 17, iconic rock group REO Speedwagon played a concert at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York, with the band Chicago.
They opened their set with "Don't Let It Go" and they immediately broke into "Music Man," both of which were well-received.
REO Speedwagon took their fans on a trip to the early 80s with their hit single "Take It On The Run," which they incorporated as a crowd sing-along towards the end.
"It's good to be back in Long Island," lead singer Kevin Cronin told the audience, prior to continuing with the upbeat "Keep Pushin'" and "Golden Country."
Cronin took a phone call from his wife after this song, who had called him to pick up half and half from the supermarket for breakfast tomorrow, but he informed her that it would have to wait since they were playing a show at Jones Beach, and they were about to sing one of their biggest hits.
They sang their power-ballad "Can't Fight This Feeling" which was a superb performance that captivated the entire venue. The group soared on harmonies and Cronin impressed on the lead vocals, and they allowed the audience to sing along with them. This vocal garnered them a huge standing ovation.
During "That Ain't Love," the stage was graced in fuchsia lights, and they rocked on the uptempo "Tough Guys."
Cronin joked that it is "very important for an up-and-coming rock and roll band" to keep their juices flowing, hence their set included their class hits, as well as the follow-up new tune "Whipping Boy," which was catchy. He switched from electric guitar to acoustic, and orange and green lights dimmed on the stage. The song's message is uplifting since it deals with standing up to authority, especially after they have kept you down, since "you can't be anyone's whipping boy."
"Time for Me to Fly" was infectious and it featured a neat drum solo (from Bryan Hitt) and Cronin asked the fans to extend their hands from side to side and shake them, prior to closing with "Back on the Road Again," where bass guitarist Bruce Hall sang lead vocals and nailed them.
REO Speedwagon returned for an encore after Chicago performed their set, and they joined them on stage for such songs as "Ridin' the Storm Out," Chicago's "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" as well as their own "Roll With the Changes" and the fan-favorite tune by Chicago "25 or 6 to 4." While the encore was remarkable, the one that stood out as a true symphony was when both bands joined in on REO Speedwagon's "Keep On Loving You," which was vocal perfection.
The Verdict
Overall, REO Speedwagon was fantastic at Jones Beach Theater. Their songs had a great deal of sentimental value to the audience, and they gave them a night of soft rock music to remember.
Neal Doughty was delightful on keyboards and Dave Amato worked the lead guitar, and all members of the group were exceptional on their instruments and vocals. Their show garnered an A rating.
For more information on REO Speedwagon and their tour dates, visit their website.
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