Status Quo / REO Speedwagon O2 Arena London 11-12-16

First up well not really as The Lounge Kittens had already finished as we arrived but no loss there and ready for REO Speedwagon's first appearance on these shores since 2008.

For 55 minutes we were treated to a greatest hits set that hasn't changed in years but who cares.
Here is what they played.

Don't Let Him Go
Take It On The Run
Keep Pushin'
Can't Fight This Feeling
Son Of A Poor Man
Time For Me To Fly
Back On The Road Again
Ridin' The Storm Out
Keep On Loving You
Roll With The Changes

Led by charismatic motor mouth on vocals and guitar Kevin Cronin the band were on fire from the word go with an excellent sound and using full use of the huge stage.

The band have been touring for 46 years but manage to give a performance like it was their first ever gig with exuberance and sheer fun in doing what they do.

Everyone plays their part from Neal Doughty's keys and piano swathes,Bryan Hitt on drums who is immense,Bruce Hall's bass runs and Dave Amato's searing guitar solo's.

Son Of A Poor Man was a welcome addition as was Time For Me To Fly with Kevin's vocal melodies soaring to the roof.

The crowd obviously knew the big ballads which were played immaculately but personally I love it when they let their hair down and rock out as they did towards the end of the set with Bruce on vocals for Back On The Road Again and Ridin' The Storm Out that was superb right from the opening heavy guitar riff which I think shocked a few who only know them for the ballads.

Keep On Loving You was sang by all before another balls out version of Roll With The Changes ended a fantastic set and let's hope they come back to headline soon.

I haven't seen Status Quo indoors since The End Of The Road tour in 1984 or at all since their support at Knebworth on Queen's last ever show.

With it being billed as The Last Night Of The Electric's that was enough to get ticket's bought but all things changed with Rick Parfitt's latest heart attack and then the announcement that he wouldn't be playing live with them again.

Refunds were offered but looking at the huge crowd not many if any took up that option.

Over the course of an hour and 45 minutes this is what they played.

The Wanderer
Something 'Bout You Baby I Like
Softer Ride
Beginning Of The End
Hold You Back
What You're Proposing/Down The Dustpipe/Wild Side Of Life/Railroad/Again And Again/Paper Plane
The Oriental
Creepin' Up On You
In The Army Now
Drum solo
Roll Over Lay Down
Down Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over The World
Encores of Burning Bridges
Rock n Roll Music/Bye Bye Johnny

Is it Status Quo or the Francis Rossi solo band?

How many bands continue the legacy with only one original member?

Foreigner and AC/DC do ok?

One to contemplate for the forums!!

Funny though that Andy Bown on keys,guitar and backing vocals has been with the band since 1976 and John "Rhino" Edwards on bass and vocals since 1985.

Makes them more original than original I reckon.

So how did new boy and Rick's replacement Richie Malone?

He was excellent and played the part very well and seemed to grow as the evening wore on.

Huge shoes to fill well done Richie.

Rick's vocal parts were taken primarily by Rhino who again did a great job and his chemistry and banter with Francis was always entertaining.

Francis Rossi is a funny and entertaining front man although on one joke the man behind me said he has used that one for the last 35 years.His guitar soloing was excellent and gets missed in the fact they only know 4 chord jokes.

They played all of the hits and were powered along by drummer Leon Cave and the crowd who most probably have been to every pre Christmas tour since the day dot lapped it up.

Rockin' All Over The World was simply fantastic and the audience reaction over the top.

Huge light rig and sound too and lots of audience participation and a real Christmas party feel to it and god knows what the fans who go every year will do next year.

The tour has already been extended into next summer so who knows when they will stop but as a one off night out it was superb.


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