As natives of the Midwest, members of REO Speedwagon are doing their part to help aid victims of the ongoing floods in Iowa.
The veteran rock act will donate time between tour stops to headline the Ridin’ the Storm Out-Floods of 2008 Relief Concert, to be held July 16 at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.
“When [a natural disaster] happens in your backyard, you say, ‘Wait a minute, this is our responsibility,'” band frontman Kevin Cronin tells Billboard. “We can’t sit back and wait for Bono to save everybody-he’s doing plenty as it is.”
Cronin first learned of the devastating Iowa floods during a recent European tour in support of REO Speedwagon’s most recent album “Find Your Own Way Home.”
“I turned on the TV one day and saw a video of a house basically being washed away into a river — it was terrible,” Cronin recalls. “The Mississippi River is pretty much the epicenter of where all of our fans are and where we play most of the time.”
Tickets for the relief concert are on sale for $20 via ticketmaster.com. To support the cause, Ticketmaster has agreed to waive convenience and handling charges. Additionally, the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino will match money raised through ticket sales, according to Cronin.
All proceeds from the benefit show, which also features the Little River Band and others, will be distributed to flood victims via the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation.
“Unfortunately, we can’t be there filling sandbags, but we can play our music,” Cronin says, noting that additional benefit concerts are in the works.