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REO Speedwagon: Live at the Moondance Jam

Firstly let me say that this is an excellent album full of fabulous all-time classic songs more than adequately performed. In many ways it's all the Speedwagon the casual fan would ever need as it contains (almost) all the hits alongside the better known album cuts. Just look below at the song list; that's one tremendous setlist. That said, does this album need to exist? It's not as if REO have exactly been prolific over the last couple of decades, aside from the little heard Christmas album Building a Bridge and Find Your Own Way Home are the only entries in their canon and they are wholly unrepresented here.

How many versions of "Keep on Loving You", "Take It on the Run", "Keep Pushin' ", "Can't Fight This Feeling", "Time for Me to Fly", "Back on the Road Again", "Roll with the Changes", "Ridin' the Storm Out" and "157 Riverside Avenue" does the world need? I appreciate that there may not be a vast cry for new material from the band but surely the odd new tune wouldn't go amiss. Buy this if you want, it's very good but it's difficult to see why it is with us.

Track Listing:

  1. Don't Let Him Go
  2. Keep on Loving You
  3. In Your Letter
  4. Take It on the Run
  5. Keep Pushin'
  6. Golden Country
  7. Can't Fight This Feeling
  8. Like You Do
  9. Time for Me to Fly
  10. Back on the Road Again
  11. Roll with the Changes
  12. Ridin' the Storm Out
  13. 157 Riverside Avenue

Added: January 25th 2014
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1990
Language: english

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REO Speedwagon: Live at the Moondance Jam
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-01-25 11:02:06
My Score:

I can't say that I've ever really been a huge fan of REO Speedwagon. Yes I've got a couple of their albums and I can sing along with more than a handful of their radio hits, but a diehard fan? Nah, not even close. However a few years ago a friend dragged me along to see these ultra slick and smooth Rockers - and BLAM, were they fantastic or what? Tight as hell, tougher than I ever thought possible and as well oiled a machine as you could hope for. Did I find myself buying their entire back catalogue and joining their fan club (do fan clubs still exist?)? Well nope, as once I did rake out Hi Infidelity and Wheels Are Turnin' from the vinyl stack, I still found that REO will always be a band I like, rather than love.

However Live At Moondance Jam does its job very well indeed, taking me back to that night in Glasgow where I found myself suddenly buying an REO t-shirt and babbling about just how good this band were. The performances here are faultless, without being unbelievably slick and polished, while for the casual fan the track listing is superb; hits abounding and given a boot up the behind. True fans of the band on the other hand, I'm guessing, may find the track selection a little safe and obvious, but then this is a band who do what they do very well, so why mend what ain't broke? "Don't Let Him Go" kicks things off superbly, "Keep On Loving You" hits the spot and "Back On The Road Again" pulsates in a way you wouldn't necessarily expect. Huge credit goes to Neil Doughty on keys and Dave Amato on guitar (the solo on "Golden Country" is stunning) for infusing the tracks and the between song segues with a real crackle and pop of energy. However singer, rhythm guitarist and piano player Kevin Cronin defies the ages to put in a top notch performance which confirms again that Rockers in their 60s really can still cut it, right at the top of their game.

The crowd noises are pleasingly high, yet cleverly unobtrusive in the mix, adding atmosphere without distracting the attention but then with the pairing of "Ridin' The Storm Out" and "157 Riverside Avenue" closing the set in magnificent style, it's no wonder the audience at the Moondance Jam were getting thoroughly into it.

I may still not rush out and snap up all those old REO albums (I won't), but I sure am glad I heard Live At Moondance Jam as it highlights a band firing on all six and in the environment in which they operate best.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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