"Live at Moondance Jam" (Frontiers; 2013)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

For whatever reason, and the fault is all mine, I never really followed REO Speedwagon during their heyday. It wasn't that I didn't like their music -- I always sang along when their music played on the radio and I knew some of their big hits really well -- it's just that I never really pursued the band's other music or bought any of their albums.

As I listen to "Live at Moondance Jam" I find myself wondering once again, what the hell was wrong with me?

This deluxe CD/DVD package is 14 live classic rock tracks, as performed at the annual Moondance Jam music festival in Walker, Minnesota. It's wonderfully recorded -- crisp, clear and dynamic -- and the band sounds great. The hits I recognize from the radio are there ("Don't Let Him Go," "Take it on the Run," "Keep on Lovin' You") and some that I haven't heard (or don't remember) are there as well, such as "Keep Pushin'," the amazing "Golden Country" and a few others.

Again, all of the tracks sound great. Not only are they beautifully recorded but the band is in terrific shape. The vocals sound just like the old days and the music is sharp and tight. Best of all, "Live at Moondance Jam" sounds exactly what a live album should sound like: Big, bold and a whole lot of fun.

Fans of REO Speedwagon will without a doubt enjoy every moment of "Live at Moondance Jam," if for no other reason than that the band sounds this good after what lead vocalist Kevin Cronin reminds you again and again is over thirty years of rock'n'rollin'.

(Sadly, the DVD included in this collection was unavailable for review, although it apparently contains the identical tracks).

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2014 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:50 -0400.