Loverboy September 4, 2009 Wildhorse Saloon Nashville, TN
Concert Review by James Downing
For each decade in music there are a handful of bands that define the spirit and attitude of those years. The 50′s had Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Bill Haley, the 60′s had The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Monkees, The 70′s had Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, and The Eagles. The 80′s had Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey and the subject of this review, Loverboy.
Loveboy blew down from Canada and set the rock and roll world on fire with their rock anthems to make their mark music history. Lead by singer Mike Reno, the band chalked up a string of hit singles and lps that have become 80′s classics. MTV was just getting started and this medium served as a springboard for many artists and bands and Loverboy was right there leading the pack.
I was very excited to hear that Loveboy was coming to the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, TN for a show. I had seen them before in the 80s but that was the only time. As always, when a band that was popular from years ago comes back you never know what you are going to get. Are the vocals going to sound as good? How will the band sound? For this show you could not have asked for more. Everything was perfect!
When the band hit the stage the crowd rose to their feet. Loverboy opened up the show with a rocking song called “Notorious“. I could not believe how good Mike Reno’s voice sounded. If you closed your eyes you would have thought it was 1985 all over again. You could see the band feeding off the energy of the crowd. You could tell at this point that this was going to be one memorable show. The next song was, “Only The Lucky Ones” one of the bands biggest hits. After this song Mike asked the crowd if there were any “Ladies Of The 80′s” in the crowd. Of course that got a huge response and the boys broke into the song of the same name from the self titled debut album from 1980. The next song was “Take Me To The Top” which featured an amazing saxophone solo by keyboard player Doug Johnson. They also added a few lines of The Doors classic “Riders In The Storm” during the sax solo. They just kept on rockin with “It”s Your Life” from the bands second album “Get Lucky”. The band slowed the tempo down for the next song and broke into one of the 80′s classic power ballads, “This Could Be The Night“. They didn’t waste anytime getting back into the rockin’ mode as they went into the rock and roll anthem, “The Kid Is Hot Tonight“. And hot it was. I looked back at this point and the floor of the Wildhorse Saloon was full with people rocking to the beat.
Loveboy kept giving the fans what they wanted and broke into the next song without hesitation, “When It’s Over” was the next song that was offered for the audience’s approval and boy did they approve. This was followed by another rockin’ hit, “Hot Girls In Love“. Paul Dean is an amazing guitarist and it really showed on this song. They followed this with “Turn Me Loose” but that was something the crowd didn’t want to do. The band had each and every fan in the house in the palms of their hands. The last song of the regular set was the bands biggest hit and the song most people think of when they hear the Loverboy name, “Working For The Weekend“. You could hear everyone on the floor singing along with this one. The band said good night and left the stage but the crowd demanded more. They returned and played a song that I think summed it up for the night, “Lovin’ Every Minute Of It“. The second song of the encore was “Jump“. After this one Loveboy left the stage for the final time and the house lights came up.
This was a great show. The red leather pants that were once Mike Reno’s trade mark were replaced with blue jeans and some of the band members hair was showing grey but that didn’t mean they couldn’t rock. The combination of guitarist Paul Dean, keyboardist Doug Johnson, bass player Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve, and drummer Matt Frenette with Mike Reno’s amazing vocals made this a night that I won’t forget for a while. In fact I would love to see Loverboy again real soon.
Some fans from the table I was setting at said that they were going to wait out back for the band to come out. We waited for a while, and when they finally came out they took time to sign pictures and albums and to make pictures with the fans. They were super nice and took time to make sure each and every fan out there got what they wanted.
I could not think of anything wrong with this show. The sound was good, the song selection was great and the band sounded awesome. So, on the Concert Blast Scale I give this show a good solid 10. The show was perfect in all ways!
Written by James Downing