"Can't Stop Rockin' " is the show that will feature veteran rockers REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac and Or leans Tuesday, Aug. 22, at Wolf Mountain. The music begins with Orleans at 7 p.m.
Orleans' Larry Hoppen and REO's Kevin Cronin said it's all about the music."We play a half hour set of our hits in mainly an acoustic setting," said guitarist/vocalist Hoppen during a telephone call from Washington D.C. "The audience has been really receptive. It's nice to see how much people remember our music."
But, Hoppen said, Orleans - now comprised of him, his younger brother Lance on bass and vocals, and guitarist/vocalist John Hall - never disbanded. It performed at Woodstock '94 and has become a smash in Europe and Japan.
"Up to 1990, we were playing 12 to 24 gigs a year," said Hoppen, who lists his parents - who were 1940s big-band musicians - the Byrds and Jimi Hendrix as his main influences. "We had talked about doing a live album for quite some time, but it wasn't until our good friend Robbie DuPree (who had his own hit "Steal Away" in 1980) told us of a Japanese record company who would back us if we really wanted to do it."
The result is "Orleans Live Vol. 1," which is comprised of cuts taken from a series of shows in Japan during the late 1980s. The album features the Top 10 hits "Still the One" and "Dance with Me" and the Top 20 "Love Takes Time."
- For Cronin, lead singer/pianist with REO Speedwagon, touring is the band's lifeblood.
"Around 1990 and '91, we survived by playing clubs, county fairs and practically anywhere we could get a gig," said the Chicago native from his hotel room in Memphis, Tenn. "We had a core of fans come up to us and say, `You can't let REO die.' And I really thought to myself, `Yeah, we can't let go.' "
Cronin, who joined the band in 1972 and left a year later only to return again in 1975, said there is a sense of rejuvenation within REO - which features Cronin, key-board-ist Neil Doughty, bassist Bruce Hall, drummer Bryan Hitt and guitarist Dave Amato.
"We started the band from scratch again," he said. "We came real close to packing it in but kept on playing the clubs - just like in the beginning."
"We've been through our ups and downs," said Cronin, who mentioned the heartbreak when original guitarist Gary Richrath left in 1988. "But we've survived."
Former Wang Chung drummer Hitt joined when Alan Gratzer followed Richrath. Hitt and Amato appeared on the 1990 album "The Earth, A Small Man, His Dog and A Chicken."
Amato, who toured and recorded with Ted Nugent, brought an edge to REO, a band famous for comercializing the rock ballad with "Keep On Loving You," "Can't Fight This Feeling," as well as Midwest rock with "Ridin' the Storm Out," "Back On the Road Again" and "The Flying Turkey Trot."
"He's incredible," Cronin said of Amato. "That's why I'm excited for the new album."
The plan so far, said Cronin, is getting the new album out in the spring of 1996, the band's 25th anniversary.
"We're predicting a big year," he said. "And we're doing this not only for ourselves, but for our fans."
- Grammy Award winning Benatar hit the scene in 1979 with her debut album "In the Heat of the Night." Her success continued with "Crimes of Passion," "Precious Time" and "Wide Awake in Dreamland."
- Fleetwood Mac was the launching pad of singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist/singer Lindsay Buckingham. However, Nicks and Buckingham left to pursue other projects. Becka Bramlett and Billy Burnett, along with ex-Traffic member Dave Mason are currently in the group with guitarist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood.