CLEARWATER — Little River Band will headline ’70s Fest, set for Saturday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater.
The Lords of 52nd Street also will perform. Tickets, starting at $35, are on sale now. Visit www.rutheckerdhall.com.
Little River Band was once dubbed "the best singing band in the world" by Glenn Frey of The Eagles. Through the 1970s and 1980s, LRB enjoyed huge chart success with multiplatinum albums and chart-topping hits such as “Reminiscing,” “Cool Change,” “Lonesome Loser,” “The Night Owls,” “Take It Easy On Me,” “Help Is on Its Way,” “Happy Anniversary,” “We Two,” “Man on Your Mind,” “The Other Guy” and “It’s a Long Way There.” With worldwide album and CD sales of more than 30 million copies, they were the first band to set a record for having Top 10 hits for six consecutive years.
In 2020, Wayne Nelson, lead singer and bass player of Little River Band, spoke to Tampa Bay Newspapers about songs and the musical style of the 1970s.
“Being a product of the ’70s era, I certainly have my favorites,” Nelson said. “They’re attached to my memories of the time, so they carry even more weight for me. But when I overcome my prejudices and am able to listen to a new song with a different stylization, I usually find we’re all writing about the same things: love, loss, joy, heartache.”
Nelson said it’s how the songwriters package those subjects that define an era’s musical style.
“I will say that the ’70s seemed in general to rely a lot more on band vocals than current groups do,” he added. “You don’t hear as much three- and four-part harmonies on a regular basis now. LRB even layers guitar harmonies to go with the vocals. We’re lucky that the ‘packaging’ made famous in the ’70s is still in demand.”
The famed line-up that backed singer-songwriter Billy Joel from 1976 to 1981, the Lords of 52nd Street return to Clearwater performing renditions of the recorded originals by the Piano Man's original band. Lords of 52nd Street is led by three former members of the Billy Joel band, including multi-instrumentalist Richie Cannata, drummer/percussionist Liberty DeVitto and guitarist Russell Javors. Four of the five Joel albums released during the foursome's 1976-81 tenure reached the Top 10 on the Billboard charts, including “The Stranger,” “52nd Street,” “Glass Houses” and the live “Songs in the Attic.”
The ’70s Fest Marketplace in the Grand Concourse at Ruth Eckerd Hall will open at 5 p.m. and will include a classic car show, Vintage Vinyl Vault, ’70s-inspired vendors, live pre-show entertainment, food for purchase and more. A ticket to the concert is required for entry to the marketplace.