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REO Speedwagon & Styx // Live @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater // 8.5.22

Article and photos by: Wendy Podmenik Woodell

VIRGINA BEACH, VA– Friday night featured an excursion down memory lane, an event held by three famous bands of the 70’s and 80’s. Complete with early tailgaters huddled up in the parking lot, an enthusiastic crowd several thousand strong tailored their evening around the Live and UnZoomed tour lineup of Loverboy with co-headliners Styx and REO Speedwagon.

Canada’s Loverboy opened the night with vocalist Mike Reno clad in his trademark red and black outfit complete with his famous bandanna. Nearly all the band members are original, with the exception of bassist Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve. Boasting a history of over ten million albums sold, their set culminated with their most popular tune, “Working for the Weekend”.

Highly anticipated Styx was next on tap, promoting their most recent release Crash of the Crown, which had several songs featured on the setlist. Opening with “Fight of Our Lives”, the band took no breaks as they rounded through hit after hit. A well polished, truly professional and choreographed show gave fans everything they desired in an evening’s entertainment. A moment in time that showed the love? When keyboardist Lawrence Gowan took pause to make band member introductions, both Tommy Shaw and James J.Y. Young received lengthy standing ovations. There were smiles all around.

REO Speedwagon took on headliner duties at the Virginia Beach date. Kevin Cronin (vocalist) ran about the stage, an incredible 50 years at the helm of this arena rock/pop band and showing no sings of slowing down. REO Speedwagon was a blockbuster arena- level band in the 80’s, well known for hits such as “Keep On Loving You”, “Time for Me to Fly”, and “Take it on the Run”. Catchy power ballads and memorable guitar riffs dominated the evening.

In conclusion, the evening had a singular, solidifying theme: these bands are all still going strong and touring, they are all still creating new music, and the joy of performing is obvious on all of their faces, even 40 to 50 years later. Their vibrant enthusiasm and energy was infectious, and spread throughout the audience the whole evening.

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Wendy Podmenik Woodell
Since entering the world of photography in 2013, WENDY PODMENIK has focused her interest on live music. Her ultimate goal is to successfully present the live music genre as an art form which preserves the expression, emotion, and energy of specific moments in time. ////// GLENN WOODELL spends his musical time working both on and around the stage. He's spent decades behind the lens as a visual artist, and for his career, studied human vision as a scientific researcher. His time on the stage these days is either spent holding on to a bass guitar or a camera.