Updated February 21, 2023 - 12:22 pm
Kevin Cronin says it’s a little early to announce a series by REO Speedwagon.
But we’ll throw it out there anyway: REO Speedwagon is working on a series in Las Vegas. The enduring rock band is selecting one album to play. Guess which one.
“Our idea is to play the entire ‘Hi Infidelity’ album,” Cronin said Saturday prior to the 26th annual Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala at MGM Grand Garden. “We’re playing every single song. Even the ones I don’t like. That’s the plan. Later this year.”
Co-founders Larry and Camille Ruvo honored Paul Mitchell Hair Systems co-founder John Paul DeJoria, and the man known as the original Las Vegas Raider, broadcast great and Gorman High grad David Humm. Raiders owner Mark Davis shook up the 1,500 in attendance when he announced the Raiders Foundation would donate $1 million for the David Humm MS Chair. The Ruvos matched the donation.
That was some real “Hi Infidelity.”
Issued in November 1980,that album is easily REO Speedwagon’s most successful album. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard album charts in 1981 and was the biggest-selling album in the world that year. “Keep On Loving You” went to No. 1; Take It on The Run” was No. 5. The band is still touring off the album, including a stop Jan. 21 at Pearl at the Palms.
Cronin declined to say which songs off the album he didn’t like. He just grinned. But he did offer, “When you’re in Las Vegas, you need to do something different, and this is different.
Cronin would later sing with John Mayer, Sammy Hagar, Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers, Rick Springfield, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave and Chad Kroeger of Nickleback. Comic Nikki Glaser also performed, with dance great Paula Abdul introducing that monster band.
More for Rick
Springfield said he expects to add dates to his run at The Strat Theater on March 25-26. I expect it, too. But neither of us are sure how or when the extension would be announced.
“We’re trying to book shows throughout the year, but I’m the wrong person to ask,” Springfield said with a laugh. “That’s actually a question for my agent.”
The event was a reunion of sorts for Springfield. The rocker starred in “EFX Alive!” at MGM Grand from February 2000 until the show closed New Year’s Eve 2002. “Ka” is there now. “Not many people remember it, because it was so long ago,” Springfield said. “But I was proud to be in it.”
JoBros take flight
Friday night’s Jonas Brothers show at Dolby Live often sounded like a 747 engine. The place was packed with healthy-throated devotees for their rippin’ return to VegasVille. The band is aggressively pushing their upcoming album, titled “The Album,” due May 5. Sibling superstars Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas and Joe Jonas opened the show with “Wings,” from the new album.
Fittingly, ticket holders to the show were offered a unique way to hear the entire album. The brothers partnered with FlyOver in Las Vegas by Pursuit, previewing “The Album” as a soundtrack to a flight-ride experience. This deal was available Saturday to those holding tickets to the shows.
The new songs were dropped into FlyOver’s “Wonders of the American West” ride. Jonas Brothers are skillful cross-promoters and entrepreneurs, with the family’s Nellie’s Southern Kitchen operating at the MGM Grand.
During Friday’s show, Nick Jonas said the brothers try to mix up the set list every night. One way to do that is to release a new album, of course. But multiple shows in Vegas makes such a JoBros shuffle a challenge. “Maybe we just won’t play any more shows in Vegas,” Jonas offered. A shriek went up, and it wasn’t a happy one.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s current tour shows the turbulence of the ticket-buying market. As of Saturday afternoon, tickets in the nether regions for Tuesday night’s show at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma were going for less than $20 on StubHub. Those numbers bounced around, but were far less than face value. But tickets in the general-admission pit in front of the stage were being offered for $4,500.
This is an in-time reason why ticket-buyers should routinely check ticket sites (including Ticketmaster) for updates on what is available, and for how much.
Nina comes alive
The great Vegas violinist and band leader Nina DiGregorio posted a slick video while playing “Do You Feel Like I Do” by Peter Frampton. She took on the iconic voice-box solo, on violin.
The video was shared by a page called Keep Rock Alive, which tagged DiGregorio and Frampton.
Frampton himself commented on that Twitter post, “So cool! I am honoured you learnt me note for note! That’s something I don’t think I can do! Lol.” Cool, for sure. Find the performance on DiGregorio’s Instagram page @ninamdigregorio.
Cool Hang Alert
A Cool Hang that started the entire CHA movement is upcoming at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.) next Sunday (Feb. 26) at The Space. This is the annual St. Baldrick’s Day/birthday party/Vegas throwdown, hosted by Kenny Davidsen and featuring the D.C. Magic Tones show band. About 35 singers are in the mix. The list is evolving through assembly. This is an open hang, similar to a vintage-Vegas kicks gig, no cover. If you want seating arrive early. If you want to stand, arrive early anyway. The annual Shave-A-Thon is March 18 at Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York. Go to stbaldricks.org and search my (full) surname to support the cause.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.