Reliving the 80s with the REO Speedwagon and Night Ranger at Pinewood Bowl Theatre

REO Speedwagon rocks the show at Pinewood Bowl Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Photo credit: Peter Amisano)

PETER AMISANO | Go Venue Magazine

June 15th at the Pinewood Bowl, in Lincoln, Nebraska was host to what started out to be an evening of rain and wind. The show was postponed by 45 minutes, at which time the clouds parted, the sun came out, and Night Ranger took the stage.

Let me start with the fact that I am admittedly a Night Ranger fanboy. Starting with the release of Dawn Patrol in 1982, I’ve seen them live numerous times and been a fan for decades. So, to finally have the opportunity to photograph Night Ranger, I was ecstatic, and Night Ranger did not disappoint.

Night Ranger kicked off the evening at around 7pm, and before they even made it to the stage, they were performing for the cameras. Their set started with “You Can Still Rock In America” and they killed it. They continued with all the hits and some favorites, to include Sing Me Away, Sister Christian, Sentimental Street, Don’t Tell Me You Love Me and even included a couple Damn Yankees tunes.

The addition of Keri Kelli was a great choice, he nailed the parts originally covered by Jeff Watson and added greatly to the overall performance. Night Ranger is, easily, one of the most fun bands I have ever had the privilege to photograph.

REO Speedwagon took the stage earlier than expected, which was welcomed by the waiting crowd. Kevin Cronin still has the pipes and still provides a high energy performance.  Gary Richrath’s passing in 2015 was a great loss, not only for REO Speedwagon, but for Rock n’ Roll as a whole.  He was an amazing player with tone to die for, he is missed. But, with the addition of Dave Amato on guitar and Matt Bissonette on bass, the music lives on.

REO started their set with one of my favorites, Don’t Let Him Go and continued with a fantastic performance. They followed with most of their hits to include Take It On The Run, Tough Guys, Can’t Fight This Feeling, Time For Me To Fly, Ridin’ The Storm Out. It was a great show, which closed with Keep On Lovin You and another favorite, Roll With The Changes.  It was an amazing evening of music, bringing the entire venue back to the 80s and reliving those musical glory days.

REO Speedwagon

Night Ranger

All images © Peter Amisano

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