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Classic Rock weekend in Cranbrook

Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd, Loverboy, at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook, Saturday, Feb. 28

Cranbrook’s Classic Rock Weekend, courtesy of Kootenay Concert Connections, reconnected the electricity to the sounds and hits of the 1980s, and the 1,700-plus who packed into Western Financial Place loved every chord change.

The double rock event of Nick Gilder and Sweeney and Loverboy was more than a trip down memory lane — it was an intense evening of rock music. Events took place Saturday, Feb. 28.

Nick Gilder, fronting Sweeney Todd, took the stage like there was no place on earth he would rather be, and his enthusiasm got the crowd revved up. His band featured an aggressive two-guitar attack and pulsing rhythm section, to back up a showcase of radio hits from the late 70s and early 80s — “You Really Rock Me,” “Rated X,” “Hot Child In The City,” “The Warrior” (a song Gilder wrote for the band Scandal), and of course, the Sweeney Todd break-out hit from 1975 “Roxy Roller.” Just to cement their hard rock bona fides, they threw in a cover of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star.”

Gilder and Sweeney Todd brought a crowd down to the front of the stage in time for the second act, Loverboy, and the dance-a-thon got underway. Loverboy powered through a revue of the songs that made them for Canada’s top of the pops in the 1980s — Notorious, Queen of the Broken Hearts, The Kid is Hot Tonight, Working for the Weekend, and the king of them all  — “Turn Me Loose.” Featuring the legendary guitar work of Paul Dean and the in your face vocals of Mike Reno, Loverboy was rewarded for their hard-rocking efforts with a shower of bras stagewards at the end of the show.