Chicago performed Friday night at the Greek Theatre. (Marvin Vasquez/Living Out Loud LA)
Chicago and REO Speedwagon, two Illinois rock bands, delivered solid and memorable performances in their co-headlining summer show at the Greek Theatre Friday night.
Tim Stop was the opening act, and his 15-minute set more than achieved what needed to be done: warming up the audience.
REO Speedwagon, led by the recognizable vocals of Kevin Cronin, served up a thrilling 60-minute music display filled with classic rock and more classic rock. Quite frankly, they surprised the heck out of me. These guys are good, very good! They sound just like they did in their prime. In fact, it seems as if these guys still carry the same energy they did back in the late 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.
Neal Doughty (keyboards, organ, piano, synthesizer), who has been with the group since its beginnings, and the rest of the members lived up to expectations particularly in their renditions of “Take It on the Run” and “In Your Letter.” “Don’t Let Him Go” was also a crowd pleaser.
Then, Chicago continued the night, performing for a little over one hour. One of the most beloved tracks from the band is “Saturday in the Park,” and the four-minute song delighted the crowd. Throughout the track, about 80 percent of the sold-out venue stood up, danced, clapped and sang.
“Saturday in the park. I think it was the Fourth of July. Saturday in the park, I think it was the Fourth of July,” everyone sang along. The fact of the matter is that this tune is infectious for two reasons: It’s upbeat, and the lyrics are easy to memorize and sing along to.
In the end, both bands had a surprise for the public: They got together for about 35 minutes and collaborated in singing and playing each other’s repertoire. It was magic!
The bands performed some of their most popular tunes, but REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You” was the favorite of this portion of the evening. Chicago added exceptional music to it, while Cronin captivated with his voice. The fans kept singing “I just wanna keep on loving you” nonstop.