REO Speedwagon with Rick Springfield
Open Sky Theater at Harrah's Rincon (San Diego)
REO Speedwagon was formed in 1967 and has been a confounding blend of consistency and change for decades. Fronted by iconic vocalist Kevin Cronin, they rode in station wagons going from gig to gig just to get the REO name out in the early days. As they rock star status began to rise, REO Speedwagon rode the top of the charts with 22 million albums sold in the U.S. and 40 million around the globe.
By the early ‘70s the band’s unrelenting drive, non-stop touring and recording jump-started the burgeoning rock movement in the Midwest. It carved a path eventually followed by STYX, Kansas, Cheap Trick and more. Platinum albums and FM radio staples such as “Ridin’ The Storm Out” followed, setting the stage for 1980’s explosive Hi Infidelity.
Year after year, REO Speedwagon goes onstage and into the studio to do the work necessary to create dozens of albums and perform hundreds of concerts. With the modern-day music industry changing, the band members recorded “Find Your Own Way Home” in 2007 and put it out themselves while personally driving to radio stations across the country to get it heard. Whatever the band members need to do to connect with fans, they do it.
REO Speedwagon continues to hit the road on tour offering songs that people truly want to hear, especially during rough economic times – songs of hope, passion, and a reason to do the things we do. “I am an optimistic person,” Cronin says. “In every song I have ever written, no matter the depth of darkness from which it was conceived, there has always been a message of hope. My own songs often serve to remind me that in the toughest of times, hope must remain undying.” Now today it’s all about what it has always been – taking good care of the band’s legacy while keeping the focus on the future.
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