Splice Magazine

Splice Media Group

Loverboy @ Caesars Windsor

Windsor, Ontario, Canada (March 9, 2018) – To anyone in attendance at Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino tonight, it might have appeared that an 80’s theme night was in order. With some questionable fashion choices, ‘big hair’ and a little ‘extra baggage’, Loverboy fans were in the house ready for a little nostalgia and a whole lot of rock hits from their youth. What they didn’t expect was the sensational vocals from Mike Reno and the dynamic sound from Paul Dean (guitar), Mike Frenette (drums), Doug Johnson (keyboards, woodwinds) and Ken ”Spider” Sinnaeve (bass) that would rival any current touring band!

The hardcore Loverboy fans on hand all knew about Paul Deans scorching guitar licks and masterful runs on the longneck, but on the other hand, very few had ever witnessed the relative newcomer (2005), bassist Ken Sinnaeve, perform live. And as everyone suggests, “you can only make one first impression” and what an impression he left on the crowd. From leading the rhythm sections to standing at the stage front playing heart-pounding solos – the man put on a performance that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Loverboy © John Swider
Loverboy © John Swider
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All together they delivered an incredibly tight eleven-song set that featured a muscular take on “Lucky Ones”, “Notorious”, and “Queen of the Broken Hearts”, songs that have saturated classic-rock since Loverboy arrived on the scene in the early 80’s.

As the band worked through the hour and thirty-minute set, they did take some liberties by stretching out a few songs a bit more than the original versions. On “Take Me to the Top” they started with a blues inspired interlude by Doug Johnson, which transitioned into a few chords off The Doors “Riders on the Storm” which, overall, the crowd seemed to appreciate. That little ‘detour’ at the start of a song is sometimes used as ‘filler’ to stretch the set out, but tonight it showcased Doug Johnson and his abilities as a world-class musician.

While the night was full of hits like “Hot Girls In Love” and “The Kid is Hot Tonight”, the boys did slow it down some for one of their classic rock ballads. If you’re a fan of the 80’s music, you know every artist or group had at least one ballad in their library, and Loverboy was no exception. “This Could Be the Night was well-received by the crowd, but it never got the response that the harder rock songs that they had performed up to this point in the set did.

After “Hot Girls in Love”, a drum/bass solo and “Turn Me Loose”, the band received their biggest reaction of the night with their arguably best-selling song in their catalog, “Working for the Weekend”. Introduced with the distinctive cowbell, the arena was up dancing in the aisles and singing right back to Reno word for word.

As the final song of the night, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, wound down it was hard to imagine that Loverboy has been together 40+ years. The performance was as good as any current artist on tour. From Reno’s vocals to Doug Johnson’s mastery on the synthesizer, Dean’s blazing guitar licks and Frenette banging on the drums – these guys haven’t lost a note. Are they as good live as they were in their heyday? Go catch them live and you be the judge!

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