REO Speedwagon with Levon Mayo Civic Center – Rochester, MN – February 25th, 2022
Review and photos by Kate Klaus
It has been a long wait for a high caliber rock show to return to Rochester, and REO Speedwagon delivered a show that made it worth the wait to a full house at the Mayo Civic Center on February 25th, 2022. Nashville based country rock band Levon opened up the night, and treated the crowd to a fun and interactive mix of covers and original songs with elements of country, folk, and even bluegrass. They had the crowd singing along with favorites like Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” and The Eagles “I Can’t Tell You Why”. Their beautiful 3-part harmonies were complimented by exceptional musicality and interactive personalities that had the crowd engaged and excited for the rest of the night. They closed their set and the last night of their tour with a standing ovation from the crowd for their remarkable performance.
Despite being a seated venue, the crowd were on their feet as REO Speedwagon took the stage full of energy and excitement. Kevin Cronin bounded onto the stage and launched into their opening song “Music Man”. Drummer Bryan Hitt filled the auditorium with sharp rhythms and high energy playing and guitarist Dave Amato and bassist Bruce Hall matched that energy with both their playing and their interaction with the crowd and each other. Cronin referenced the energy of late guitarist Gary Richrath and noted that that energy is still with them as they perform today, and that was evident with the flair and vitality of this performance. The spotlight turned onto keyboardist Neal Doughty as he took to a beautiful grand piano for crowd favorite “Can’t Fight This Feeling”, and Cronin invited the crowd to sing along during the chorus, crafting that connectedness that only live music can produce and had been so missed the past few years. Cronin’s back and forth banter with the crowd and light humor only increased this connectedness and gave the large auditorium the feeling of an intimate show. They closed the night with an encore of “Keep on Loving You” and “Roll with the Changes” that sent the crowd out feeling energized and treated to an exceptional night of classic rock and the excitement of a return to live music.