Several months ago, I spoke with REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin in advance of his band's summer tour with Styx and Ted Nugent at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion.

Of course, with that show taking place the weekend after July 4, it's quite possible that even if you wanted to attend, you already had vacation plans that took you away from Greater Lowell.

Well, conveniently enough, the Chicago-area band is coming to the Mill City on Thursday night for a full-length concert at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

REO Speedwagon dominated the pop singles and album charts for the first half of the 1980s with classic hits like "Keep On Loving You," "Take It on the Run," "Keep the Fire Burnin' " and, of course, their biggest hit "I Can't Fight This Feeling.

REO Speedwagon
REO Speedwagon
" Chances are, either you or a sibling (or perhaps parent) owns the band's 1980 album Hi Infidelity, which topped the album chart, went nine-times platinum and has sold more than 10 million copies. Expect to hear all of these songs on Thursday night in a greatest-hits set that promises to entertain all classic-rock and '80s music fans.

As Cronin told me over the summer, he's happier with the sound of his voice now than ever before and remains grateful for the opportunity to sing and perform music he loves for audiences of all ages and sizes. Whether playing before tens of thousands of people in the Midwest or more intimate audiences around the world, REO Speedwagon remains a viable force on the live music scene.


"I feel so fortunate that we're still touring at a very high level," Cronin said several months ago. "I have no complaints. I'm glad to be out there. Whether it's 200 people in a 200-seat theatre or 20,000 people in a 20,000-seat arena, if the place is rocking, that's what we live for."

And interestingly, while many of his contemporaries stick to playing only in the summers, REO Speedwagon (and for that matter Styx) keep themselves busy on a year-round basis, playing anywhere from 80-120 shows throughout the year.

REO Speedwagon performs at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $67, $49.50 and $39.50 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at 978-454-2299 or at

Ed Hannan can be reached at or through his For the Record blog at You can also follow him on Twitter @SunFTRblog or like our For the Record blog page on Facebook.