Loverboy? That band from Canada that had a handful of hits back in the 80’s? Yep. I grew to actually like five of their songs as I was exposed to them time and time again growing up in the 80’s and the show was on a Saturday so I figured what the hell? Much to my surprise the cheapest tickets were going for $60 so I decided to just check back periodically figuring they would get cheaper as the show got closer. My suspicions were confirmed when I received an email from Goldstar offering tickets for $20 but I did not have anyone to go with and the concert was 30 miles from my place at Viejas Casino in Alpine. By the time Bob said he would go when we were at the Breaking Benjamin concert a few days earlier the tickets on Goldstar were gone so I was right back in the same ticket conundrum as before.
There were exactly four tickets listed for sale on StubHub and each was $55. I did not want to see Loverboy that badly so I checked Craigslist, which had three postings. One linked back to StubHub, one was a pair for $30 each and one was a pair for $20 each. I responded by email to the $20 post but did not hear anything back all day so I called the $30 post and was informed the tickets were just sold. Right when I was about to let Bob know we would not be going I finally got a response from the $20 ticket posting saying they were available and we could meet up at the venue.
After picking up Bob from SeaWorld (he was there all day with his family) we were on our way to the middle of nowhere. There would be no drinking for me since I had to drive so I brought a little wacky tobacky and had some back at the car once we arrived and secured the tickets. We squeezed into our seats near the back and could not help but notice that there were a lot of empty seats. This surprised me since there were so few available on the secondary market but I rationed that the casino probably comped quite a few tickets that never got used. Bob and I would eventually take it upon ourselves to move to a row of our own much closer to the stage.
Once Loverboy took the stage to an underutilized video screen backdrop used simply to display Loverboy in typewriter text it was hard to miss the singer Mike Reno, who was once a normal sized man back in the day and was now a portly man. The crowd was precisely the crowd I envisioned and by that I mean old. The band was under no false pretenses about this as Mike Reno addressed the crowd with “We are at a different time in our lives. The kids have moved out of the house…” The band was very good at playing their instruments but it would be seven songs in before I even knew a song they were playing. I was very confused that a band of this nature would make the crowd wait through the entire first half of their set to hear a “hit.” When they finally played the songs I came to see it felt like they were showing off how much better they had become at playing their instruments in 40 years instead of playing faithful renditions of the songs people were there to see. One highlight for me was when keyboard player Doug Johnson played a snippet from “Riders on the Storm” by the Doors. That guy has some of the fastest fingers I have ever seen. The encore of “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” made the whole outing worth it but I can now say with certainty that Loverboy falls into the category of been there done that.
SETLIST: Notorious, Lucky Ones, 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