Arts and Entertainment

Chicago, REO Speedwagon to rock the State Fair on Sept. 9

According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s. They have sold more than 38 million units in the U.S., with 22 gold, 18 platinum and 8 multi-platinum albums. - Courtesy photo
According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s. They have sold more than 38 million units in the U.S., with 22 gold, 18 platinum and 8 multi-platinum albums.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

For the Reporter

Two classic rock forces – Chicago and REO Speedwagon – come together for one concert at the Washington State Fair on Sept. 9.

The appearance is part of their summer tour – and part of the fair's Columbia Bank concert series.

Legendary Chicago is the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums in six decades. With 22 million albums sold in the U.S., 40 million around the globe, REO Speedwagon has brought classic rock to fans since the early 1970s.

It is the first time the bands have performed together.

Tickets are $80 (Golden Circle), $50, and $40 with reserved seating and include fair gate admission. Tickets are on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 8 on the fair website or by phone at 888-559-FAIR (3247) daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets also can be purchased in person at the fair's box office at 9th Avenue Southwest and Meridian Street on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a $1 per ticket service fee will be charged for on-site purchases.

To make it a very special evening, ticket holders to the Chicago and REO Speedwagon concert can purchase a pre-show dinner for $55 each.

Performing together

"It's ironic, that these two legendary bands, who both have roots in Illinois, were label-mates (Columbia/Epic) in the '70s, and experienced waves of immense success in the '80s and '90s, and have somehow continued to consistently make compelling music, both in studio and on tour ... have never before performed together," said Chicago's Robert Lamm. "This situation is about to change. ... As a musician who has always respected REO's skills, I look forward to our first rehearsals early this summer. This will be fun."

"With so many personal connections between various members of REO and Chicago, it is amazing that we have never actually toured together. I love it that the Chicago guys feel the way we do about truly playing together when you tour together," said REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin. "This tour promises to deliver some unique music from two bands who have made a ton of hit records, share that Midwest work ethic, and still refuse to sit back on their past accomplishments. We both keep raising the bar, challenging ourselves and rocking hard."

In March of 2013, Chicago's multi-platinum two-disc bestseller, The Very Best Of Chicago, Only The Beginning charted at #1 on two Billboard charts. In Billboard magazine's list of Top 100 artists of all time, Chicago came in at #13, the highest charting American band. Chicago will be performing on the Grammy stage for the first time in 2014, and their album The Chicago Transit Authority was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame this year.

Formed in 1967 in Chicago, the group produced a steady stream of hits Formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, the group has produced a steady stream of hits throughout their career, including "25 or 6 to 4," "Saturday In The Park," "Hard Habit To Break," "If You Leave Me Now" and many more.

Lifetime achievements include a Grammy Award, multiple American Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Chicago street dedicated in their honor, and keys to and proclamations from an impressive list of US cities. Record sales top the 100 million mark, and include 21 Top 10 singles, five consecutive No. 1 albums, 11 No. 1 singles and five Gold singles.

The lineup includes original band members Robert Lamm on keyboards, vocals, Lee Loughnane on trumpet, James Pankow on trombone and Walt Parazaider on woodwinds, as well as Jason Scheff on bass, vocals, Tris Imboden on drums, Keith Howland on guitar, Lou Pardini on keyboards, vocals and Wally Reyes on percussion.

From the signature sound of the Chicago horns, their iconic vocalists, and a few dozen of ever-classic songs, this band's concerts are celebrations. The band is now in their 46th consecutive year of touring, without missing a single concert date!

Chicago continues to be true ambassadors for their beloved hometown, carrying the city's name with pride and dignity around the world. Chicago is currently recording new songs.

For more information visit www.chicagotheband.com.

REO Speedwagon

Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by Kevin Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon has rocked to the top of the charts with RIAA-certified 22 million albums sold in the U.S., 40 million around the globe, and a string of gold and platinum records. The group's nine-times certified platinum Hi Infidelity spent 15 weeks in the #1 slot.

Over 30 years later, Cronin and band mates Bruce Hall (bass), Neal Doughty (keyboards), Dave Amato (lead guitar) and Bryan Hitt (drums) are still electrifying concert audiences across the nation. Live at Moondance Jam - the band's hit-filled performance from the country's premier classic rock festival, was released in both a Blu-ray and a deluxe edition (containing a CD and DVD in a glossy digipak) on Nov. 19, 2013.

REO unveiled the band's "Great Chicago Fire Hydrant" as part of a citywide Chicago public art installation project to benefit the 100 Club Chicago. Recently, REO Speedwagon and STYX organized Rock To The Rescue Extends A Hand To Those In Need, a benefit concert to raise funds for central Illinois communities that were affected by the recent devastating tornadoes. This concert raised in excess of $400,000 and REO Speedwagon continues to raise funds for Rock To The Rescue at shows in the Midwest.

Visit www.REOSpeedwagon.com.

More acts will be announced in the coming months for the State Fair's Columbia Bank Concert Series. Visit www.thefair.com/concerts for updates, or sign up at www.thefair.com to receive email or text announcements prior to the concert on-sale dates.

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STATE FAIR ENTERTAINMENT LINEUP

Date, performance, time, prices

• Sept. 5: Justin Playoffs Rodeo, 1 p.m. Friday matinee, $5*/$18

• Sept. 5: Clay Walker concert following rodeo (country), 6:30 p.m., $50 (Golden Saddle), $40, $30, $40 (standing in the dirt)

• Sept. 6: Justin Playoffs Rodeo 1 p.m. Saturday matinee, $30, $20, $16

• Sept. 6: Colt Ford concert following rodeo (country), 6:30 p.m., $35 (Golden Saddle), $25, $20, $30 (standing in the dirt)

• Sept. 7: Justin Playoffs Rodeo, Puyallup Finals, 1 p.m., $35, $25, $20

• Sept. 9: Chicago/REO Speedwagon (classic rock), 7:30 p.m., $80 (Golden Circle), $50, $40. Pre-show dinner: $55**

• Sept. 13: An Evening with Keith Urban, "Light the Fuse Tour" (country), 7:30 p.m., $100 (Golden Circle), $80, $40. Pre-show dinner: $55**

• Sept. 15: Florida Georgia Line (country), 7:30 p.m., $90 (Golden Circle), $70, $40, "Shine On" Pre-Show Party $30

• Sept. 17: Michael W. Smith/Amy Grant (Christian), 7:30 p.m., $50 (Golden Circle), $40, $30

• Sept. 18: Jeff Dunham (comedy), 7:30 p.m., $75 (Golden Circle), $50, $40. Pre-show dinner: $55**

* Friday 1 p.m. rodeo does not include Fair gate admission. Gates are open free from 10 a.m.-noon.

** Pre-show dinner does not include Fair gate admission or concert ticket.

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