TVD Live Shots: Loverboy at The
Grove, 10/24

As a teen in the early ’80s, I was fortunate to have someone in my life to help shape my love for vinyl, live music, and all things rock and roll.

I can vividly recall sitting in my uncle’s room in San Antonio listening to classics such as Legs Diamond, The Babys, and of course Van Halen. One band that always stood out during that time was Loverboy. Although I never caught them live, I probably listened to 1981’s Get Lucky nearly a thousand times and could sing along to every song in typical Mike Reno form (headband not included). On Thursday night, I’d finally get my chance to see Loverboy live. I was excited to relive what turned out to be such an influential period in my life.

On a breezy Southern California evening, Loverboy took over The Grove in Anaheim and escorted fans on a magical journey back in time to the early ’80s. Different from most shows I have attended at this venue, Loverboy’s show was stripped down, well-oiled, and filled with classics that entertained and delighted.

There was no opening band on Thursday, just 2 hours of classic Loverboy at its finest. Hits such as “Lucky Ones,” “Hot Girls in Love,” and “Working for the Weekend” were tight and had fans from all over Southern California singing along at a frenzied pace. Approaching 65 years old, Mike Reno’s voice was solid as I have ever heard it.

As for the band, these guys crushed every song they touched with a reckless abandon. It was clear to all in attendance that Paul Dean (guitars), Doug Johnson (keyboards), Matt Frenette (drums) and Ken Sinnaeve (bass) loved playing with each other. Their on-stage chemistry was high, and it poured out in waves throughout their 14-song set. Reno was all smiles as he interacted with crowd and one could easily tell he was enjoying the hell out of being on stage.

All good things must come to an end, and the show concluded with two of Loverboy’s most famous songs, “Working for the Weekend” and “Loving Every Minute of It.” Scanning the audience, everyone (and I mean everyone) was off their feet and rocking to the beat as Loverboy’s set finally came to an end.

Walking back to the car, I could not help but smile as I finally got a chance to see my childhood idols live and in person. The show transported me back to a time and place where all that mattered was the music, and for that I am eternally grateful.

And as for Loverboy, well, they are still kicking ass and taking names after four decades in the business (and that is not an easy feat in this day and age). Their music is timeless and continues to live on for fans at live performances all over the country. Loverboy rocks, and I’m not ashamed to say I am still one of their biggest fans.

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