Since 2000, REO Speedwagon and Styx have regularly hit the road together, and the veteran rockers’ latest co-headlining trek, the Live & UnZoomed Tour, gets underway tonight in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The outing, which also features Loverboy, includes over 40 dates, and runs through a September 18 concert in Bangor, Maine.
REO Speedwagon keyboardist Neal Doughty says the idea to tour jointly with Styx came about at a time when the popularity of veteran rock acts “was kind of tapering off.”
“[W]e knew that we needed some kind of a better reason for people to come out and see classic rock,” Doughty points out. “So we just started this thing of, you know, let’s put two or three headline bands on the same show and that’ll get people out of their houses.”
Doughty says REO has never done a full tour with Loverboy before, while noting that the Canadian group is “another one of those bands that as soon as you start working with them, you’re immediately good friends.”
He adds, “[Lead singer] Mike Reno is a force of nature. He’s just such a lovable guy. So they’re gonna be a really good addition to the Styx and REO [tour].”
As for what fans can expect from REO Speedwagon’s set on the trek, Doughty explains, “We know we’re working for the audience, literally, so we’ve got to play the biggest hits and, of course…[when we do,] it goes through the roof.”
Neal says that beyond REO’s hit power ballads, like “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “Keep On Loving You,’ “a lot of our live show goes back to the stuff we were doing in the ’70s, [such as] ‘Roll with the Changes’ and ‘Ridin’ the Storm Out.'”
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