Mike Reno Is Still Working For The Weekend

Loverboy hits the road tonight in Greensburg, PA ahead of a summer tour with Styx and REO Speedwagon

Loverboy 2022 (Images: Loverboy)

After a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian rock icons Loverboy are back.

Not only are they hitting the road for an extensive tour starting in March (full dates below), first as the headlining act and then on a string of dates with REO Speedwagon and Styx. They also just released a brand-new single, “Release.”

A Loverboy show “sounds exactly like the record,” says Loverboy vocalist Mike Reno, calling from his home in Palm Springs, Calif. (he also still has a home in the band’s home base of Vancouver, B.C.). “We’ll take you right back to where you first heard [a song], where you first partied and where you first had your stereo cranking. And it takes me back, too, so it’s a two-way street. It’s part of everybody’s DNA, including me.

“I’ve been at this for 40 years,” he continues. “It’s fun to talk about this band because it’s just an exciting band to be in. It’s like these songs have taken over our whole lives. Everywhere I go, even if I’m golfing, somebody will come whipping by and [sing], ‘The kid is hot tonight…’ Or “Working for the Weekend.” And I sing it right back at them.” 

Still, Reno admits that he’s not sure that people will be as enthusiastic about “Release,” even though that single is just as hard rocking as anything the band have done before. “I guarantee if we play it live, the majority of the people won’t really know it,” he says, “but they sure will know “The Kid Is Hot Tonight,” “Working for the Weekend,” “Turn Me Loose,” “When It’s Over,” “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” “This Could Be the Night,” and “Almost Paradise.” So we always give them what they want.”

He says he doesn’t mind this arrangement: “I’ve gone to concerts over my lifetime, and some of the bands I’ve gone to see decided to play all new material, and I thought it was a little weird. I said, ‘I’m not going to do that to these poor people.’”

As for why Loverboy has had such staying power, “I guess it’s because we tried really hard to find band members we knew we could stick together with,” Reno says. “It’s a really good band, musically, and it became my family.” 

That “Loverboy family” has been separated during this COVID-19 pandemic, and Reno says he’s excited to see everyone again soon. He’s a bit more hesitant about actually getting back into the swing of things after so long off the road, though, so he’s been working hard on rehearsing to make sure that he can sing these songs as well as ever.

“I’ve got [recordings of] all the songs of Loverboy playing, with me not singing on them, so I put my headphones on and plug in the mic into a mixer, turn it up nice and loud, and I do a rock concert in the bedroom all by myself!” he says. With a laugh, he adds that the first time he did this, “After about five songs, I had to pull a stool over and sit down for a minute! There’s nobody watching, so your adrenaline’s not going.”

Loverboy’s 1986 VHS tape “Any Way You Look At It (Image: CBS/Fox)

Still, Reno promises he’ll be ready when the first concert dates come in March. “I just hope I don’t have a freaking heart attack,” he says with another laugh. “The audience will get me going, and I’ll do it. Everybody is going to know every song and it’s going to be, boom. The crowd really makes it happen for us. I get a kick out of how happy it makes people to hear these songs. As soon as we break into a song, everybody immediately starts to smile. What a great job that is.”

Reno says he feels very fortunate that so many of Loverboy’s songs have done so well – especially because many of them were written quite easily. “A lot of stuff just dropped out of the sky,” he says, using their 1980 hit “Turn Me Loose” as an example. “I just kept playing [the opening riff] on the bass. I played it and played it and played it. I played that bass line so many times, Paul [Dean, guitarist] looked at me and said, ‘If you play that bloody sequence one more time, I’m going to smash you with my guitar.’ I said, ‘Well, why don’t you write some stuff around it and we’ll turn it into a song?’”

The singer admits he felt compelled to write songs starting when he was about twelve or thirteen years old. He started off as a drummer, forming bands in high school in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. He began singing and playing drums at the same time, but it wasn’t long before his powerful vocal style made it clear that he needed to come out from behind the drum kit altogether. After high school, Reno moved to Toronto and joined the band Moxy, with whom he released one album. After another move to Calgary, he met Paul Dean and they formed Loverboy together. The band has gone on to release nine studio albums (several of which have earned multiplatinum sales status), and they’ve continued to sell out arena shows around the world to this day. 

“It’s almost like I have to do it,” Reno says of his music career. “It’s like I have no choice. I respect the songs, and the songs are kind of like the leaders. That’s what keeps me going. That’s what keeps the whole band going. It keeps us driving forward to reproduce these songs and make people happy.”

 

VIDEO: Loverboy “Release”

 

Loverboy’s 2022 Tour Schedule: 

^ w/ Styx & REO Speedwagon 

 

March 9 – Palace Theater – Greensburg, PA  

March 11 – Berglund Performing Arts Theatre – Roanoke, VA  

March 19 – Spring Music Festival (Big Creek Amphitheater) – Cottonwood, AL  

March 26 – Rhythm City Casino – Davenport, IA  

April 5 – Harris Teeter Corporate Concert (PRIVATE) – Charlotte, NC  

April 8 – Choctaw Casino – Durant, OK  

April 15 – Arcada Theater – St. Charles, IL  

April 22 – Island Resort & Casino – Harris, MI  

April 23 – Island Resort & Casino – Harris, MI  

April 27 – Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games (Meridian Centre) – St. Catharines, ON  

May 9 – ROXFEST – Los Cabos, MX  

May 21 – Spyglass Ridge Winery – Sunbury, PA  

May 31 – Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, MI ^  

June 1 – Blossom Music Center – Cleveland, OH ^  

June 3 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater – St. Louis, MO ^  

June 4 – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater – Chicago, IL ^  

June 7 – American Family Insurance Amphitheater – Milwaukee, WI ^  

June 8 – DTE Energy Music Theatre – Detroit, MI ^  

June 10 – Ruoff Music Center – Noblesville, IN ^  

June 11 – Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH ^  

June 13 – Walmart Amphitheater – Rogers, AR ^  

June 14 – Starlight Theatre – Kansas City, MO ^  

June 17 – Ameris Bank Amphitheater – Atlanta GA ^  

June 18 – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre – Tampa, FL ^  

June 19 – iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre – West Palm Beach, FL ^  

July 8 – Ball Arena – Denver, CO ^  

July 9 – USANA Amphitheater – Salt Lake City, UT ^  

July 12 – White River Amphitheater – Auburn, WA ^  

July 13 – Sunlight Supply Amphitheater – Ridgefield, WA ^  

July 15 – Shoreline Amphitheater – Mountain View, CA ^  

July 16 – Five Point Amphitheater – Irvine, CA ^  

 

VIDEO: Loverboy “Workin’ for the Weekend”

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Katherine Yeske Taylor

Katherine Yeske Taylor began her rock critic career in Atlanta in the late '80s, when she interviewed Georgia musical royalty such as the Indigo Girls, R.E.M. and the Black Crowes while she was still a teenager. Since then, she has done hundreds of interviews with a wide range of artists. She has written for dozens of magazines, including The Big Takeover, Aquarian Weekly, Stomp & Stammer, Creative Loafing, Jam Magazine, Color Red, Boston Rock, and many others. She contributed to two books (several entries for The Trouser Press Guide to the '90s, and a chapter for Rolling Stone's Alt-Rock-A-Rama). Additionally, she has written liner notes and artist bios for several major acts. She currently lives in New York City.  

One thought on “Mike Reno Is Still Working For The Weekend

  • March 9, 2022 at 9:52 pm
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    I am so disappointed. New York is not listed on Loverboy’s 2022 Tour list. I am such a huge fan.

    Reply

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