REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon

@ DPAC – Durham, NC

November 13, 2019

Well, what can I say? I hate writing bad reviews, but here we go.

At first I thought REO Speedwagon had a full house at the Durham Preforming Arts Center, but that was not the case. Ticket holders in the balcony seats were offered a free upgrade to the floor seats. So the floor was full, but the upper levels were sparse.

When the boys came out they opened with Don’t Let Him Go. It just sounded okay. After a couple of songs, Kevin Cronin [lead vocals] informed us that bassist Bruce Hall was suffering from the flu. Bruce was back stage with a towel over his head steaming for the show.

During Someone Tonight, the piano seemed to get sick too. I thought it was a real baby grand until the techs were pulling and poking around with it during the song. Then you saw they pulled a digital keyboard from it.  The “piano” was just a shell. Neal Doughty could have just moved to the other side of the stage and set his keyboard to “piano” mode and carried on. Instead they changed a cable out or something and he was all set to go.

While Bruce seemed to be holding up well, you would have thought Kevin was suffering from the flu. He was WAY off. His vocals were lacking. When he did a little acoustic set of three songs, I could not even understand the lyrics. I mean, how can you not recognize Keep the Fire Burnin’? If it was not for the chorus, I would have had no idea what the song was. He totally slaughtered Golden County. Kevin was getting painful to listen too. Plus his jabbering between songs was long and annoying.

At that point, I decided I would listen to one more song. That song was  “Rock Show”. The rest of the boys came back and played Take it On the Run and that was when I decided to leave. I could take no more.

Musically the band was great. Playing well together and tight. Dave Amato can still thrash on the guitar and Bryan Hitt was tireless on the drums. But the main aspect of every great band is the singer. Kevin just killed the show in the bad sense of the word.

Current members:

  • Neal Doughty – keyboards (1967–present)
  • Kevin Cronin – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards (1972–1973, 1976–present)
  • Bruce Hall – bass, backing and lead vocals (1977–present)
  • Dave Amato – lead guitar, backing vocals (1989–present)
  • Bryan Hitt – drums, percussion (1989–present)