REO Speedwagon will keep on loving Biloxi at the IP

COURETSY IP CASINO RESORTREO Speedwagon will bring hits such as 'Roll With the Changes' to the IP on Friday night.
COURETSY IP CASINO RESORTREO Speedwagon will bring hits such as 'Roll With the Changes' to the IP on Friday night.

REO Speedwagon lead singer Kevin Croin gets excited when he talks about the band's relationship with Biloxi.

"Biloxi is a groovy place where you can walk along the water, and we always have a good time down there," Cronin said.

And South Mississippi's love for the band is mutual as Cronin and company continue to sell out shows along the Coast.

"We've kind of become the house band in Biloxi," Cronin said in an interview with the Sun Herald. "There's really no other place we can play that often and have people so excited every time we come to town. We have great shows in Biloxi -- the fans are great and we love playing there."

REO Speedwagon will be rolling into the IP Casino Resort Friday. The show is one of a handful of solo shows they will play before heading out for the summer on a package tour with Def Leppard and Tesla.

"We are really looking forward to this tour," Cronin said. "We know the Def Leppard guys very well, and they are great guys and it should be a lot of fun."

Summer package tours, or "shed tours" as they are commonly known because of the amount of appearances at outdoor venues (sheds), is nothing new to the band as they did a coheadlining tour with Chicago in 2014.

Cronin said it was one of his favorite tours.

"That was a very special tour, because we played songs with each other, and we became great friends," he said. "I got to sing a verse on '25 or 6 to 4' and (Chicago vocalist and band leader) Bobby Lamm sang a verse of 'Keep on Loving You' and he's such a great and soulful singer. I think both bands hope we can do something together again soon."

And there's a reason REO continues to sell out shows across the country as they have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, including 1981's "Hi Infidelity," which stayed at the No. 1 album slot for 15 weeks.

It was the biggest-selling album of the year and includes hits such as "Take it on the Run" and "In Your Letter."

"We thought the album was going to work on some level, but we had no idea that it was going to be that successful," he said. "I'm still blown away when people come up to me today and tell me how much that record means to them."

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