With Loverboy hitting the slopes in this Inaugural Concert this is by far the best weather I’ve ever experienced at Buck Hill. It feel really strange to be in just a shirt, pants and shoes when I’m at Buck Hill, I feel like I should be dressed in about 14 layers of mixed clothing.
I arrived just in time to see and listen to about 3 songs from local band ARENA, the first act to ever grace the Buck Hill Stage. I didn’t get to see too much of these guys this time, although I’ve seen them a few times and know they put on a great show, consistently opening for National Acts including Loverboy, Dokken, and Stryper just this year.
Them Pesky Kids (also a local act) was next to perform. I’ve never managed to see these guys perform, always being in the wrong area when they’re playing. I can say this, I’d like to see them again when they have a longer set. A fun group that plays arena-style rock, great guitar work, solid on the drum kit and they play some great covers including Def Lep, Guns N’ Roses, even Foreigner.
I must admit for a good portion of the show, including time during both Them Pesky Kids and headliner Loverboy’s sets, I roamed around taking in the vibe of the place. While most of the crowd was older, there was a sprinkling of younger people enjoying a relaxing environment. It was a very friendly crowd, with several folks talking about how many times they’ve seen Loverboy in Concert. One lady claimed to be in attendance for her 35th show. The venue had standing general admission in the front, with chairs and blankets towards the back and a small VIP section to the left of the stage with a rail and seating. You could also head upstairs for food and drinks or to enjoy a little air conditioning to cool down for a moment.
Loverboy hit the stage a little behind the scheduled time, which is amazing considering they were almost 15 minutes behind with the meet and greets. It was a fast set full of the hits you’d want to hear. If you wanted any of the deeper tracks you were left a little disappointed. Starting out the night was the hit “Notorious” followed by “Lucky Ones.”
The almost completely original band (with Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve taking over “Bass” duties after the death of Scott Smith in 2000) had a consistent tempo for most of the night, slowing it down on the ballad “This Could Be The Night” before ramping it back up.
It was a night where the audience seemed to know every song (much better than me), singing along and fist pumping on several songs. Lead singer Mike Reano started out with a chant for the guys, setting them all up. Then he rallied all the girls (much louder) together for the song “Hot Girls In Love.” The band hit their stride with a rousing Drum Solo leading into their top three songs “Turn Me Loose“, “Working For The Weekend“, and the encore “Loving Every Minute Of It” to end the night.
It was a very fun opening night of “The Buck Hill Concert Series.” Country comes to town tomorrow when Little Texas drops in. Hopefully, they will see some bigger crowds as the week progresses, with bands Starship and The Little River Band playing after Country Night. This should be the first of many and bigger concerts to come. It’s a beautiful area, a fun crowd, good music and friendly staff. The only thing I hope they improve is the stage size- it seems a little cramped for an outdoor festival stage.