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CHICAGO / REO Speedwagon
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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CHICAGO / REO Speedwagon
CHICAGO / REO Speedwagon
CHICAGO / REO Speedwagon
CHICAGO / REO Speedwagon
CHICAGO / REO Speedwagon
CHICAGO / REO Speedwagon
CHICAGO / REO Speedwagon
Borgata Event Center
Atlantic City, NJ •  Friday, August 22, 2014
 
        Back to the Borgata to see Chicago / REO Speedwagon in the intimate this 3700 seat incredible venue that is just the best to photograph and watch a concert. For this night it was one night, two bands, three sets, and unforgettable memories.
        As REO Speedwagon hit the stage, with a huge backdrop behind them featuring the REO Speedwagon logo, and a Chicago skyline with a full moon, they opened with "Don't Let Him Go", "Music Man", and "Take It on the Run". Then singer-guitarist Kevin Cronin says to the crowd, "Thanks to all of you who couldn't get tickets for Howie Mandel" and coming to see us.” Mandel was playing the same night at the Music Box, a 900 seat theatre just right next door in the same building. With most of their set drawing from the ‘70s and ‘80s, next was "Keep Pushin", "Can’t Fight This Feeling", with a little sing-a-long from the audience, "In Your Letter", "That Ain't Love", "Tough Guy's", and a new song Cronin wrote, "Whipping Boy." They ended their set with "Time for Me to Fly" with guitarist Dave Amato on a double-neck guitar and "Back on the Road Again” with bassist Bruce Hall on vocals.
        It was a quick set change to a huge back drop displaying the Chicago band logo and Chicago hit the stage. They opened with "Make Me Smile", "So Much to Say, So Much to Give", and "Anxiety's Moment" before keyboardist Robert Lamm addressed the crowd saying, “we have played Atlantc City many times, but never with REO Speedwagon so this is a special night.” Next up was "Colour My World", "To Be Free", "Now More Then Ever", and a new song off their latest album Chiacgo XXXVI, "Now", released in July. Then "You're The Inspiration", and "Beginnings", before a cover of The Spencer Davis Group's "I'm a Man", where drummer Tris Imboden and percussionist Walfredo Reyes Jr. squared off on a solo, smilinmg at one another as they tried to outdo each other. But through the night it was the horn section of Lee Loughnane on trumpet, Ray Herrmann, filling in for sidelined Walter Parazaider on saxophone and flute, and the always energetic James Pankow on trombone who were just at the top of their game all night. Then to finish their first set of the night was "Street Player", "Just You 'n' Me", "Hard to Say I'm Sorry", "Saturday in the Park", and "Feelin' Stronger Every Day".
    Now for the highlight of the night, after the roadie's shuffled some equipment around, both bands returned to the stage to play a six-song encore of each other’s songs together. Now with 14 people on stage, two drummers, a percussionist, two bassists, a horn section and assorted keyboards and guitarists, they opened up with REO's "Ridin' the Storm Out", Chicago's "Free", REO's "Keep on Loving You", Chicago's "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?", REO's "Roll With the Changes", and to close out the show, Chicago's “25 or 6 to 4.” After that song I do have to say I don't think I've ever seen 14 people on stage at once for an encore goodnight bow, but I can say I witnessed it that night and hope more bands get this idea of playing each others songs together when those good double bill concerts tour all the time. Sad to say, but they are not coming anywhere else close to us and their tour together is almost done!
– Gary Crouthamel, Concert Photojournalist
 
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