Eleven years ago I attended one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to: REO Speedwagon, Journey and Styx. Last Friday was my second REO Speedwagon concert. This time they shared the bill with Chicago in a musical tour de force that blew me away.
As you can see from their setlist below, REO Speedwagon mainly played the hits. However, they treated fans to a brand new song – “Whipping Boy” – and they included a deeper cut from High Infidelity: “In Your Letter.” After closing out with two fan favorites – “Time for Me to Fly” and “Back on the Road Again,” Kevin Cronin said to the crowd, “Stick around because later on we’re going to come out and perform with Chicago. It’s going to get crazy!”
After a 20-minute break, Chicago took to the stage and launched into “Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon” and followed it up with “Questions 67 & 68.” The rest of their set was dominated by songs that showed off their impressive horn section, including one of my all-time favorites: “Street Player.”
After Chicago’s set, REO Speedwagon joined them onstage for an impressive six-song encore that included three classics from each band’s repertoire. From “Ridin’ the Storm Out” to “25 or 6 to 4,” the crowd was on their feet the entire time, and rightfully so; over nearly four hours, they were treated to 30 stellar songs by two iconic bands.
As the lights came up and the crowed cleared, I made for the door knowing that I had witnessed one of the best concert experiences of the year. And while both bands put on excellent performances, I enjoyed REO Speedwagon more. Perhaps it’s because I’m a fan of classic rock or because they’re still at the top of their game. Either way, I highly recommend you go see them if you get the chance. You won’t be disappointed.