Artpark Outdoor Stage
Tuesday July 11, 2017
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
It was the 1980s all over again Tuesday night at the majestic outdoor Amphitheater at Artpark. Loverboy and Kim Mitchell, descended upon the Lewiston faithful and delivered quality sets that appeased their fanbase. It was a very hot day but by the time the show started and into the night it was simply gorgeous.
First up was guitar maestro Kim Mitchell. Right from opener “Lager & Ale” he grabbed the audience’s attention as fans hustled to get to a decent view. As Mitchell dished out lick after lick of some great guitar work, it was hard to believe this guy is 65-years old.
Mitchell has a different band from the last time I’ve seen him. His longtime bassist Peter Fredette is still there but now Mitchell has Dave Langguth on the skins and newest member keyboardist Sam Pomanti who rounded out the band.
Mitchell also is known for fronting Max Webster, a Canadian band who were active during the 70s and have several gold albums. Mitchell not only played some of his solo hits but a good chunk of the set highlighted Max Webster. He even blew the dust off “Battle Scar”, a song he said hadn’t been played in three years. Loverboy drummer Matt Frenette came out to play drums on “I Am A Wild Party”, a song he played drums on the original studio version for. It was a good warmup for his upcoming set with Loverboy.
“All We Are”, mega-hit “Go For A Soda” and encore “Rock N’ Roll Duty” were among the evening’s best songs. While it would have been good to see “That’s The Hold” and the gem “World’s Such A Wonder”, two songs that dominated the airwaves in the 90s, Mitchell crafted a satisfying set list for his diehards.
Mitchell warmed up the crowd for fellow Canadians Loverboy who last played in the Buffalo area in 1997 at the downtown ballpark. The band features all the original members except for bassist Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve who joined in 2001 to replace Scott Smith who had passed away in a boating accident in 2000.
Following opener “Notorious” singer Mike Reno announced to the Artpark crowd “Do you wanna get lucky? As the band strolled into “Lucky Ones” from Get Lucky, the album still remains the band’s best seller. A little gem in the form of album track “It’s Your Life” was a treat for the diehards.
The show was not without a few glitches as the band stretched “Take Me To The Top” as far as they could by inserting a verse of the Doors “Riders On The Storm” into it. The dreaded Bass/Drum/Keys solo was able to spell Reno for a tad although it was quite useless otherwise.
The band closed out the last quarter of their set with decent renditions of “When It’s Over”, “The Kid Is Hot Tonite” and the song that broke the band “Turn Me Loose”. “Working For the Weekend” had everyone singing along as it closed out the main set as expected. For an encore, the band saved their highest charting single on the U.S. Charts, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”.
The band still sounded in good form although they have seen better days. While Reno’s voice sounded strong for the most part, it was still a far cry from when Reno used to be able to run around on stage and command an audience like he once did oh so many moons ago.
Overall both bands put on the best performance they could and the fans seemed mostly satisfied after it was over.
Queen Of The Broken Hearts
Take Me To The Top
It’s Your Life
This Could Be The Night
The Kid Is Hot Tonite
When It’s Over
Hot Girls In Love
Turn Me Loose
Working For The Weekend
Lovin’ Every Minute Of It
Lager and Ale
High Class in Borrowed Shoes (Max Webster song)
Paradise Skies (Max Webster song)
I Am a Wild Party
Battle Scar (Max Webster song)
Check (Max Webster song)
That’s a Man
All We Are
Go for Soda
Rock & Roll Duty