July 24th, 2024

Loverboy still lovin’ every minute of it

By Chris Brown on August 17, 2017.

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Loverboy is one of Canada's best known and most loved bands with hits like "Working For the Weekend" and ÒLovin' Every Minute of It." The band will play at the second annual Cars and Guitars festival at the Canalta Centre this weekend.


Loverboy has long been known as a band that’s working for the weekend. Which weekend though? This weekend.

The iconic band, formed in Calgary but later settling in Vancouver, is one of four that will be playing the second annual Cars and Guitars festival at the Canalta Centre Aug. 18-19. Trooper and Honeymoon Suite kick things off Friday before Loverboy and Kick Axe on Saturday.

“Two of my favourite things are going on there, cars and guitars,” said Loverboy guitarist Paul Dean recently, adding fans can expect to see him checking out the show and shine and taking photos of the classic cars early in the day before taking the stage.

After nearly 40 years, hit albums, arena rock staples and megatours around the world, Loverboy — Mike Reno on vocals, Matt Frenette on drums, Doug Johnson on keyboard and Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve on bass — has pretty much got it down now, Dean said.

“We love, we live to play and we love playing these songs and we love to play together and it’s a pretty rockin’ band.”

Dean said every Loverboy show is different. That’s because songs like “Turn Me Loose,” “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” and “The Kid is Hot Tonite” all have a basic framework but have room for the band to play within them. The average listener might not hear it but being inside it he hears it every night.

“‘When It’s Over’, for instance, it’s got so much space and to create that groove with so much space it’s a challenge but it’s really cool when it works every night,” he said. “Some nights it really swings, some nights it’s really blocked out, some nights somebody takes a chance on a solo. Just the rhythms we get into and the pockets that we find as a band and some of the amazing stuff Mike pulls off on top of it all … We all get so excited before we go on stage because we never know what’s in store.”

They might not know what’s in store on stage but the audience is another matter.

The band looks out and it’s “babies to blue hairs.” That wide cross-section of the audience has been the same since Day 1. Dean credits the positive energy of the songs for that mass appeal.

“There’s no negativity. I wouldn’t ever say it’s safe but it’s upbeat and positive generally, even the ballads are positive,” he said. “There’s no doom and gloom coming off the band and I think that means a lot to parents as well. They know they can bring the kids and they’re not going to get weirded out.”

Loverboy has helped cultivate those younger fans with some social media outreach and savvy business decisions.

The video for the latest single “Stop the Rain” was fan-created after the band ran an online contest and have appeared in some memorable commercials. The most recent is an Enterprise National Car Rental spot featuring actor Patrick Warburton that premiered during the first Sunday Night Football game of the 2016-17 NFL season.

“When the email came in I went ‘this is amazing,’ ” Dean said of the commercial. “It always blows my mind to see the ideas they come up with and how it all comes together. It was really fun.”

A ticket for both nights of the festival is $49.99 or $59.99 plus service charges and are available at http://www.ticketmaster.ca, by phone at 1-855-985-5000 or at the Canalta Centre box office.

Shows both nights start at 8 p.m.

For full festival details visit http://www.carsandguitarsfestival.com.

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