Culver City Observer -

By Steven Lieberman
Observer Reporter 

REO Speedwagon and Chicago Delight Concert Goers

 


Two Classic Rock bands "keep pushin'" on. REO Speedwagon and Chicago teamed up for a concert tour and landed at the Fabulous Forum on Friday to the delight of all their adoring fans.

Nobody can call these guys fossil rockers…they sounded as good as they did when the two bands started making hits back in the '70's.

REO got the party started with frontman Kevin Cronin belting out the first song of the set "Don't Let Him Go," and ending with a tribute to the late, great Tom Petty singing "Listen to Her Heart" as the final encore. The audience was also treated to other hits like "Can't Fight This Feeling," "Keep on Loving You," and "Roll With the Changes."

Long-time band members took the stage with Cronin: founder Neal Doughty on keyboards, bassist Bruce Hall, lead guitarist Dave Amato, and drummer Bryan Hitt. Amato said that he likes being a member of REO because there's a guitar solo in just about every song. Hall always gets to sing his anthem "Back on the Road Again," a song he also wrote.

The band members bring great energy to the stage, especially Cronin. He's a charismatic individual who connects with the audience with not only his songs but inspiring messages and anecdotes.

After REO warmed things up, Chicago made their appearance which lasted a good two hours.

They presented two sets, the first being the entire "Chicago II (1970)" second album and then sang their greatest hits in the second set. When co-lead singer Peter Cetera left the band in 1985 to pursue a solo career, founding member Robert Lamm carried the torch and continues to be their frontman. Lamm wrote and sang many of their most popular songs and he treated the fans to most of them on Friday. "Beginnings," "25 or 6 to 4 (on the Chicago II album)," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is?," Saturday in the Park," among many other gems.

Their famous brass section is led by founding members trumpeter Lee Loughane and trombonist Jimmy Pankow. Another brass member of Chicago since its inception, saxophonist Walter Parazaider continued to tour with the band until his retirement from touring last year due to a heart condition. Inspired by the Beatles hit "Got To Get You into My Life," Parazaider became enamored with the idea of creating a rock 'n' roll band with horns. He performed the highly recognizable flute solo in the hit "Colour My World," which the band played during the Chicago II album first set.

Kudos must go out to the Madison Square Garden Company for renovating The Fourm, making it one of the very best acoustically-sound concert venues in the world. Both bands took advantage of the acoustics and delivered a premium sound.

 

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