REO Speedwagon - 'Live At Moondance Jam'

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REO Speedwagon - 'Live At Moondance Jam'

It's easy to see why REO Speedwagon have been in the business for over 45 years and are still going strong.

This latest CD/DVD package from the Italian label is an excellent performance by classic rockers REO Speedwagon in front of a huge crowd at the Moondance Jam Festival in Minnesota, recorded back in 2010. At the time the band were celebrating 30 years of their biggest selling album 'Hi-Infidelity', so four of that album's tracks open the show in style, namely 'Don't Let Him Go', the mega-hit 'Keep On Loving You' (appearing surprisingly early in the set), 'In Your Letter' and the amazing 'Take It On The Run'.

Vocalist Kevin Cronin looks remarkably trim for his age, his energetic performance complementing the largely up-tempo performance, and while he may not always sing in as high a register as he used to, his voice is still excellent, with bassist Bruce Hall and guitarist Dave Amato ably supplying the harmonies. Amato is a superb guitarist, putting his own spin on the solo parts conceived by long-departed original guitarist Gary Richrath.

None of the tracks recorded since Amato and appropriately-named drummer Bryan Hitt joined the band in 1990 are included, instead the set is a trip down memory lane. Once the 'Hi-Infidelity' tribute is completed they run through golden oldies 'Keep Pushin'', 'Golden Country' and 'Like You Do', while another huge hit 'Can't Fight This Feeling' is an obvious highlight, along with the awesome 'Time For Me To Fly'. Bruce Hall steps up to the mic to deliver a lengthy but fantastic run-through of his 'Back On The Road Again', the only song during which Amato peels off his own amazing solos without having to ape his predecessor, and the main set closes with Cronin seated at the piano for the first time for the excellent 'Roll With The Changes'.

The encores are the classics 'Ridin' The Storm Out' and '157 Riverside Avenue' – I think the dramatic 'Ridin'...' is a better show-closer than the more rock 'n' roll '157...', but that's just a personal opinion. Whatever, it's easy to see why REO Speedwagon have been in the business for over 45 years and are still going strong.

Ant Heeks

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