REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin is featured chatting via Zoom with his band’s longtime production manager, Michael Richter, in a new episode of Live Nation’s YouTube series Backstage with Crew Nation.
The series helps promote Live Nation’s Crew Nation initiative, which supports concert crews who’ve been put out of work due to the shutdown of live music during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In their conversation, Cronin and Richter talk about the important work REO’s road crew does, discuss some memorable gigs by the band and lament how hard the lockdown has hit touring-industry workers financially.
Kevin marvels on how much Richter, who’s worked with the band for 14 years, and the crew accomplish to make a show run smoothly.
“I don’t know how you guys get there in the morning, unload the trucks, the light trestles go up, the sound goes up, the stage is built from scratch every day,” the singer gushes.
Cronin says one of the most memorable gigs REO Speedwagon has done was a recent appearance on the Netflix series Ozark during which the band played on a stage set up on a boat.
Richter reveals that the shoot was a challenge for the crew, “because the space on top of the boat where the band performed wasn’t large,” but notes, “It all worked out great in the end.”
Kevin says that for him, doing the Ozark episode “was awesome,” pointing out that “[i]t was the first time that my kids and my wife all thought I was cool at the same time.”
Cronin also expresses appreciation for Crew Nation.
“From the band’s standpoint, our crew, they’re basically band members,” Kevin notes. “[S]o when Crew Nation comes up and offers financial assistance to crew guys, well, they’re kind of helping the bands too.”
By Matt Friedlander
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