CANADA’S LOVERBOY: ALL FLASH, NOT MUCH FIRE
Mainstream rock, almost by definition, is a limited, even soulless branch of pop music--a precept Loverboy fully accepts. The Canadian quintet’s show Friday at the Forum was, predictably, a bland and boring bluster. From the moment Loverboy hit the stage with “The Kid Is Hot Tonite,” the group seemed to be operating on autopilot.
Paul Dean’s metallic guitar solos looked flashy but seemed to be rendered by rote. Similarly, vocalist Mike Reno--projecting remarkably little presence for a frontman--reflected little feeling or spontaneity in his singing. Neat lighting, though.
The Hooters, who opened the show, were much more inspired, demonstrating the merits of stretching the form. The Philadelphia band likes to splash its peppy rock with odd colors by incorporating such instruments as melodica and mandolin. This approach kept some otherwise conventional songs interesting--and made for an enchanting, mandolin-based version of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”