Loverboy and Trooper Raise Funds For Whistler Food Bank

Ra McGuire from Trooper

Whistler Olympic Outdoor Plaza
Whistler, BC
November 26, 2011
Photos by Paul Fitzgerald

Vancouver’s hot 80’s icons, Loverboy, with crowd pleasers Trooper, were the dual-headliners for a special first annual Whistler Food Bank fundraiser. It was a family oriented evening with no alcohol permitted – it was also Whistler‘s opening weekend of the ski hills too. For the two RCMP constables attending the show, it was a pretty uneventful evening, but for fans of good ol' fashioned rock, it was a blast – and only for $10 or a food donation, what a bargain.

The weather was less than a stellar Saturday night as several hundred excited guests braved the stormy night to see their favourite bands play. Some came for Trooper, others for Loverboy, but most came for both these iconic artists. The Olympic Plaza is outdoors, but at least it was covered and not too windy. Paul, the sound guy worked hard to keep us all happy and did a great job for the bands.

Trooper opened up at 7pm and frontman Ra McGuire is a favourite of mine. What a showman. His voice is so awesome and every time I've seen them, they just seem to be having the greatest time on the stage. This version of Trooper was comprised of Brian Smith, the band's guitarist since… forever, with Ra, Clayton Hill on drums, Gogo on keyboards, and Scott Brown on the bass. We all crowded as close as we dared, some to keep warm and others to get as close to the stage as possible. I found as I moved back out of the crowd, it was pretty frosty at the back. In the cold, Ra commented several times about Clayton’s head steaming, because he was hot from drumming and the temperature dipped to about 1 degree celsius.

Trooper played all their greatest hits for over an hour and then visted the concessions area and wowed everyone with signing autographs. I told them how much I adored their music and they blessed me by signing my Trooper Flying Colors album cover. They made us feel appreciated.

The stage had to be changed, and Loverboy came on about 9pm. The last time I had seen them was at Mike Reno’s 54th birthday party at the Commodore Ballroom in 2010.

Loverboy - Paul Dean
Paul Dean from Loverboy

Loverboy is Mike Reno – the voice man, Paul Dean on guitar, Matt Frenette – the power man of drums, Doug Johnson on keyboards and the great Kenny “Spider” Sinnaeve on the thunder bass. They opened with Notorious, then Lucky Ones, Queen of The Broken Hearts, Take Me To The Top, It’s Your Life, This Could Be The Night, followed by The Kid Is Hot Tonight . At this point, they had us all singing along (actually I sang along to almost every song). The show continued with When It’s Over, Hot Girls In Love and Turn Me Loose. It was a greatest hits party. Matt  did his power drum solo and Spider joined for a spectacular duet. Both Spider and Matt stood on chairs as they played , an impressive performance. Next came Working for the Weekend, featuring awesome solos from Paul Dean..

The band kept the audience happy and warm and the one thing that impressed me the most was the attention to the children. Paul, Mike and Spider handed out guitar picks to every child they saw. One was so impressed with Spider, he grabbed his leg when he came close to the edge of the stage. I did not think he was going to let go of his leg.

The band returned to the stage for a performance of their new song Heartbreaker, followed with Lovin' Every Minute Of It.

Right after the show they came out to sign autographs and talk with the audience. Both bands were classy and amazing – their attention to the audience really blew me away, but the special way they treated the kids was just over the top! Way to go! Loverboy and Trooper showed us how to be great Canadians this night. We were all the Lucky Ones! See you at next year's fundraiser.