It's been 30 years since REO Speedwagon released their landmark album, "Hi Infidelity", and in the words of the band's longtime lead singer Kevin Cronin, that anniversary was reason enough to "Party!"
And "Party!" they did at Penn's Peak on Thursday night. Entering the stage to the opening chords of Sam and Dave's classic song "Soul Man" to the closing notes of the band's encore, REO delivered hit after hit, with songs that spanned their incredible 40 year career.
The band opened with "Don't Let It Go", following up with the power ballad "Keep On Lovin' You" before Cronin announced that the band was going to mark the 30th anniversary of their biggest release by playing a few tracks from that album - "In Your Letter", "Someone Tonight", "Tough Guys", and "Take It On the Run".
After the medley of album tracks, Cronin commented on how nice it was to be back in Pennsylvania, and that "I forgot how cold it is here!" He then added that it was the perfect excuse to stay inside and enjoy the party.
Cronin made a few other references to the area during his chats with the audience. He mentioned how he enjoys the Martin guitars, manufactured in Nazareth.
He also proudly announced that he recently turned 60 years old, to which someone in the audience held up their AARP card. "Don't remind me!" Cronin joked.
The rest of the band's set was a stream of notable numbers, including the ballad "Can't Fight This Feeling" (the band's last charted hit in 1984), "Time For Me to Fly", and their closing number, the rocking "Roll With the Changes".
The current band lineup, which along with Cronin includes Bruce Hart (bass), Neal Doughty (keyboards), Dave Amato (lead guitar) and Bryan Hitt (drums), may not have had a Top 40 radio hit in several years, but their sold-out performance at Penn's Peak on Thursday night proved that they still have a strong bond with their fans, both new and old.
The party continues tonight at Penn's Peak with Sebastian Bach performing at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $29.
Bach, who recently released a new album, had been the lead singer for Skid Row.