One of the more sensational Canadian bands from 30 years ago brought their popular show to Transcona Friday night, to the delight of a sold out crowd at Club Regent.
Loverboy, the band that started in Calgary in 1979, made quite a splash throughout the ’80’s. Although rejected by all the major record labels in the U.S., they signed to Columbia Records in Canada in 1980.
Their first album sold a million copies in Canada and 2 million in the U.S. The second album, Get Lucky, doubled sales (4 million) in the States and earned six Juno awards. This is the most Junos any Canadian band has ever received for one album.
The song, ‘Working For the Weekend’ from Get Lucky was a huge hit and has become something of an anthem. It’s been featured in commercials, video games and even in a Saturday Night Live sketch. Many successful albums and hits followed.
Loverboy recruited Winnipeg’s bass master, Ken ‘Spider’ Sinnaeve, after long time bassist Scott Smith was declared dead when lost at sea in 2000.
Loverboy is one of those bands you never realize how many brilliant and catchy tunes they’ve released during their career, until you see them live.
The Club Regent venue is a great live room since it reopened in May. Seating 900 with tables, or 1400 in a theatre setting, the acoustics are amazing. Even singer Mike Reno commented on what a great room it is.
Tonight the venue was set up theatre style with the most eager fans in the ‘pit’ in front of the stage. The enthusiastic people dancing on the floor singing along got a tip of the hat from Mr. Reno who said that, “I love that you’re dancing.”
The band took to the stage 15 minutes later than the scheduled 8 p.m. start and you could feel the anticipation in the room as almost every seat was filled.
Blasting into ‘Notorious’ (co-written by Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora) from their 5th album, 1987’s Wildside, Mike Reno and the boys set the pace for what was to be a notoriously great evening.
Half an hour into the show, a bra was tossed onto the stage followed by another one shortly thereafter. The crowd and the band on stage were in a good mood.
During the fourth song Take Me To The Top’, keyboardist Doug Johnson took centre stage with a saxophone and blew his heart out. When he walked back to the keyboards, Mr. Reno asked if that’s all he’s got. Johnson then launched into a keyboard solo and proceeded to play ‘Riders on the Storm’, which the singer sang along to.
Great energy from the band and from Mike Reno produced a wonderful rapport with fans. He acknowledged the in-laws, the St. Germaine family, in the audience.
He also mentioned Kenny Shields was in the audience. I’m sure he was enjoying watching his old Streetheart bandmates Spider, Paul Dean (guitar) and drummer Matt Frenette.
The band still has the chops and were very tight. Matt Frenette delivered a powerful drum solo an hour into the set and was joined by Spider on bass for the last bit. Paul Dean’s guitar playing never sounded better as he confidently delivered the riffs.
There was definitely an ’80’s vibe in the room as Mike Reno made references to the size of CD’s back then (LP’s) and the fact headbands were popular back then. Seems like they’ve always been popular with Mr. Reno as he’s still sporting his.
As Mike Reno stated at the beginning of ‘When It’s Over’, “intros to songs take me back to where I was….what you were doing, who you were doing it with and whether your old man caught you or not.”
I’m sure lots of the intros to these songs brought back some wonderful memories.
2. Lucky Ones
3. Queen of the Broken Hearts
4. Take Me To The Top
5. It’s your Life
6. This Could Be The Night
7. The Kid Is Hot Tonite
8. When It’s Over
9. Hot Girls In Love
10. drum solo
11. Turn Me Loose
12. Working For The Weekend
13. Lovin’ Every Minute Of It
All photos by Doug Kretchmer