Photos and review by Merideth C.
Record rains and heavy flooding on many of the roads leading to DTE Energy Music Theatre threatened to put a damper on the awesome lineup of Chicago and REO Speedwagon on Tuesday, August 12 in Clarkston. Fans of the two bands had no intentions of letting inclement weather stop them, though. The rain mostly held off and the crowd was packed for a night of classic jams. The atmosphere was incredible. Nearly everyone was standing the entire show. Couples held hands and slow danced and every song was sung along with word for word all night long.
REO Speedwagon opened the show and set the momentum for the night with hit after hit for fans to sing along with. The band has transitioned through nearly 2 dozen musicians over the years and featured original member Neal Doughty on Keyboards, early members Kevin Cronin on vocals and Bruce Hall on Bass, and later additions Dave Amato on lead guitar and Bryan Hitt on drums. Cronin’s vocals sounded as awesome as ever. It was especially memorable to hear him singing “Keep on Loving You,” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” both songs he wrote in the early 80’s. Additionally, the band played hits like “Take it on the Run,” “Don’t Let Him Go,” and “Time for me to Fly.”
Chicago headlined the show and kept the crowd on their feet and singing. Their stage presence and massive collection of hits make it easy to see why they are one of the most long-running and successful American rock bands of all time, second only to The Beach Boys in Billboard topping singles and albums. Like REO Speedwagon, Chicago has had many members come and go over the years. The current lineup has Robert Lamm on keyboards, acoustic guitar, and lead vocals; Lee Loughnane on trumpet, guitar, percussion, and vocals; James Pankow on trombone, percussion, keyboards, and vocals; Walter Parazaider on woodwinds and backing vocals; Jason Scheff on bass and lead vocals; Tris Imboden on drums; Keith Howland on guitar and vocals; Lou Pardini on keyboards and lead vocals; and Walfredo Reyes, Jr. on percussion. Chicago has so much talent and energy on stage. They have a wonderful rapport with the crowd, dazzling them with hit like “You’re the Inspiration,” “Saturday in the Park,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” “Feelin’ Stronger Everyday,” and “Just You ‘n’ Me.”
The highlight of the night was the encore where Chicago and REO Speedwagon both took the stage to play 3 songs from each band. For REO Speedwagon the songs were “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” “Keep on Loving You,” and “Roll with the Changes.” For Chicago the songs were “Free,” Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is,” and “25 or 6 to 4.” It was an exciting and fun way to end an incredible night; a dozen amazing musicians collaborating on each other’s song and simply having a great time!
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- Don't Let Him Go
- Music Man
- Take it on the Run
- Keep Pushin'
- Golden Country
- Can't Fight This Feeling
- That Ain't Love
- Tough Guys
- Whipping Boy
- Time for Me to Fly
- Back on the Road Again Encore:
- Ridin' the Storm Out (end of show with Chicago)
- Keep on Loving You (end of show with Chicago)
- Roll with the Changes (end of show with Chicago)