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Loverboy is still workin' for the weekend

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015

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Loverboy has been in all sorts of touring situations in the 35 years since the Canadian rock group's first album came out. And it's no stranger to playing on the bill with Rick Springfield and the Romantics, this year's road partners.

But having all three acts on the same bill makes the situation a bit more special according to Loverboy frontman Mike Reno.

"What a great hunch of positive songs are on that stage every night," Reno, 60, says by phone from Vancouver, where he resides. "We've played with the Romantics and we've played with Rick before, separately, and we actually put together the Romantics, Loverboy and Rick Springfield show about three times before, and the crowd just totally loved it.

"So I think management got the idea and it turned out to be a fabulous idea. WE all like each other. It's a good quality act and the promoters are buying it and it's a hard ticket thing, so it brings our respectability back. WE're not just playing state fairs for free; we're selling tickets again, so it's awesome. It makes us feeling good, so all the way around it's positive."

Reno feels the same way about Loverboy's situation these days. Although the group hasn't had a major hit since 1987 it did tap its vaults for 2014's well-received "Unfinished Business," and Reno says there's more where that came from.

"Nobody really buys albums like they used to, but we still like to be creative," says the singer, who wrote Loverboy hits such as "Working For the Weekend," "Turn Me Loose," "Heaven In Your Eyes" and "When It's Over" with guitarist Paul Dean. "So we're gonna do another record, absolutely. I don't know when. Paul and I have already written a few songs for it. The creative juices are what's fun for us.

"We find that all the recordings we do now are basically promotional tools for our live show, but we always are going to be putting out some new product."

The live act is still Loverboy's bread and butter, however, and Reno is pleased the group is well-situated to prosper on the road -- and is heartened to even see young people in the crowds these days.

"That's, like, crazy," Reno says with a laugh. "These younger people are coming out and they're buying T-shirts and headbands (Reno's trademark during the 80s) and they're standing out front and they're rockin' and rollin'. I don't know what's going on, but we're super happy about it.

"I think it's the Internet, maybe. They're like, 'I've heard these guys are good. I've heard my parents talk about them,' so they go on the Internet and they research the band and watch the clips and they go, 'Let's check this out.' It's like a phenomenon. It's just so cool..."

Loverboy, Rick Springfield and the Romantics

7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18.

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights.

Tickets are $29.50-$99.50 pavilion, $25 lawn.

Call (586) 268-5100 or visit freedomhill.net.

Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

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