REO Speedwagon

Mayo PAC, Morristown, NJ

REO Speedwagon
Mayo PAC, Morristown, NJ
April 9, 2019
Photographs By Estelle Massry
Article by Dennis Morgillo
 
REO Speedwagon was formed in Champaign, Illinois in 1966. Kevin Cronin joined in 1972, he left the band but returned in 1976. "You Can Tune a Piano but You Can't Tuna Fish" was released in 1978 and went double platinum on the strength of songs like "Roll with the Changes" and "Time for Me to Fly".
 
Everything changed on November 21, 1980 with the release of "Hi Infidelity". Hi Infidelity spawned four hit singles, including the chart-topping "Keep On Loving You", plus "Take It on the Run" (#5) , "In Your Letter" (#20), and "Don't Let Him Go" (#24). The album remained on the charts for 65 weeks, 32 of which were spent in the top ten, including 15 weeks atop the Billboard 200. Hi Infidelity sold over 10 million copies and set the bar for rock bands across the country.

REO could not be stopped during the 1980's and the hits kept on coming.  "Keep the Fire Burnin'", "Sweet Time", "Can't Fight This Feeling", "I Do Wanna Know",  "One Lonely Night", "Live Every Moment" and more. 

REO has been touring consistently with the present lineup since 1989.
The current lineup consists of: 
Neal Doughty – keyboards (1967–present) (Only founding member still with the band) 
Kevin Cronin – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards (1972–1973, 1976–present)
Bruce Hall – bass, backing and lead vocals (1977–present)
Dave Amato – lead guitar, backing vocals (1989–present)
Bryan Hitt – drums, percussion (1989–present).
 
REO rolled into beautiful downtown Morristown, NJ to perform at the Mayo PAC. The acoustics were tremendous and the band tight as can be. Cronin's unique high vocals sounded beautiful, as did the backing vocals. 
 
There were a lot of incredible guitar solos by Lead guitarist Dave Amato—who toured and recorded with Ted Nugent, in addition to doing sessions for David Lee Roth, Rick Springfield and Mötley Crüe, before joining REO.

REO Speedwagon is unadulterated fun. They were the oundtrack to our lives, especially those of us who came of age in the 1980's. I was in High School in 1980 when "Hi Infidelity" was released, and you could hear it wherever you went. Car radios, boomboxes, you name it, it was being played everywhere.

The show tonight was amazing. All the hits and some deep tracks as well. REO is a talented bunch of musicians and they really rock when they want to, and they can play a beautiful ballad with the best of them.
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