After a four year absence, Kenny Loggins returned to Reno this past Sunday evening with his band for a night of stories and song. As a prelude to the show, a video narrated by Kenny played on the big screens above the stage.
This covered early career events like his partnership with Jim Messina and meeting up with Barbara Streisand and John Peters to talk movie scores. This led to doing “I’m Alright” for Caddy Shack, and eventually Top Gun work. Then fast forward to “Footloose!”
His set started off slow and easy with “Danny’s Song” which he presented as a sing-along with a very enthusiastic audience. Then came “Return to Pooh Corner” and “This is It.”
Kenny intermingled stories from his past with the songs making for a very entertaining event. One story had to do with the thrill of getting his first song recorded. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was working on recording his song, “Return To Pooh Corner,” but the Disney lawyers shot it down.
As Kenny was telling his girlfriend of this sad event, she said, “Let me talk to daddy.” Kenny didn’t know her father was the CEO of Disney. Problem solved!
Kenny has a top-shelf team of musicians playing with him, so the performance was excellent. Everybody on stage had high energy and knew their parts. Kenny’s voice is as good as ever, and all the players sang back up (except the drummer – they don’t usually sing). Harmonies were fantastic.
There were definitely sound issues though. The mix had a harsh edge to it most of the evening. At one point everything dropped out for a split second and then came back in. During Celebrate Me Home an ear-splitting feedback howl filled the room overpowering everything, I saw multiple people covering their ears, as I also did.
Still later in the set, as they were preparing to start another song ,Kenny’s acoustic guitar had no sound. He called out to the side stage and a guitar tech came out and worked on it, brought out a different guitar, and still no sound. About the time Kenny said they should just get started without it, there was success and sound. Kudos to Kenny though. He was calm and collected while this all went on. Finally, when it was fixed, it was on with the show.
The second half of the show ramped up and up to a fever pitch, topping off with “Footloose,” which had just about the whole room up on its feet. After a short exit the band returned with the equally high energy, Your Mama Don’t Dance, then the mood dropped down to a soothing version of Forever, and that was the closer for the night.
The crowd was pleased, guffaws and all. It was a good night at the Reno Ballroom.