Chicago and REO Speedwagon are preparing for their joint tour this summer, which begins July 31 in Concord, Calif.
The groups will play 22 shows together, and as Chicago has done with previous tour partners such as Earth, Wind & Fire, the Doobie Brothers and Huey Lewis & the News, both acts will join forces to play several songs together during the shows.
REO frontman Kevin Cronin told reporters during a recent conference call that he's particularly looking forward to that aspect of the tour:
"That is probably for me the most exciting part of it, is that we're gonna be able to kind of cross-pollinate for awhile there at the end. I'm just very excited to have the great musicians in Chicago playing along on some of our songs and get to hear the Chicago horn section on 'Roll With the Changes' is something I'm really, really looking forward to."
Chicago's Lee Loughnane said the feeling is mutual:
"As Kevin had said, the excitement of playing together on stage, this is something neither Chicago fans or the REO fans have seen before, so this is something new for them."
The groups plan to decide which songs they'll perform together during pre-tour rehearsals shortly before the start. Until then REO will be playing its own shows in the U.S., while Chicago -- which releases a new album, "Now: Chicago XXXVI" on July 8 -- begins a European tour on June 26. Chicago has also premiered a lyric video for the new album's first single, "Love Lives On."