REO Speedwagon Comes to The Warner
The Warner Theatre will welcome REO SPEEDWAGON to the Main Stage on Thursday, September 20 at 8 pm.
REO Speedwagon is a band where the main constant over the decades is a never-ending desire to give their all to their fans, year in and year out. At the center of REO's desire to keep it rocking for the fans is Kevin Cronin, who looks like he's found the fountain of youth - along with the secret to penning some of the biggest hits in rock. Cronin is joined by band mates Bruce Hall on bass, keyboardist Neal Doughty, Dave Amato on lead guitar and drummer Bryan Hitt.
Formed in 1967 at college in Champaign, IL, REO (named after the precursor to the light truck) rode to gigs in station wagons, hopping from small gigs to even tinier gigs, just to get their name out. It worked, as fans quickly realized there was much more going on here than your average college party band.
By the early '70s, the band's unrelenting drive, as well as non-stop touring and recording, jump-started the burgeoning rock movement in the Midwest. Platinum albums and freeform FM radio staples such as "Ridin' The Storm Out" followed, setting the stage for 1980's explosive Hi Infidelity. Its success was fueled by massive hit singles such as "Keep On Loving You" and "Take It On the Run." REO rode the top of the charts with a RIAA-certified 22 million albums sold in the U.S. and 40 million around the globe, with a string of gold and platinum records and international hit singles.
Today, fully established with songs on the radio in every city and town they ever set foot in, REO Speedwagon still has that Midwest work ethic. The band has gone on stage and in the studio to work - dozens of albums, thousands of concerts, and countless radio spins. Their eyes have always been on the future and on the road - not a year has gone by where REO Speedwagon didn't perform live, thrilling fans with hit filled sets. They have toured with Fleetwood Mac, Pat Benatar, .38 Special, Ted Nugent, Chicago, Def Leppard, Status Quo and in 2017, Styx and Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles). To purchase tickets, call the Warner Box Office at 860-489-7180 or visit warnertheatre.org.
Built by Warner Brothers Studios and opened in 1931 as a movie palace (1,772 seats), the Warner Theatre was described then as "Connecticut's Most Beautiful Theatre." Damaged extensively in a flood, the Warner was slated for demolition in the early 1980s until the non-profit Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts (NCAA) was founded and purchased the theatre. The Warner reopened as a performing arts center in 1983, and restoration of the main lobbies and auditorium was completed in November 2002. In 2008, the new 50,000 square foot Carole and Ray Neag Performing Arts Center, which houses a 300 seat Studio Theatre, 200 seat restaurant and expansive school for the arts, was completed. Today, the Warner is in operation year-round with more than 160 performances and 100,000 patrons passing through its doors each season. Over 10,000 students, pre K-adult, participate in arts education programs and classes. Together, with the support of the community, the Warner has raised close to $17 million to revitalize its facilities. NCAA's mission is to preserve the Warner Theatre as an historic landmark, enhance its reputation as a center of artistic excellence and a focal point of community involvement, and satisfy the diverse cultural needs of the region.