The Little River Band’s music and lyrics can be characterized as “an interactive scrapbook,” according to its lead vocalist and guitarist, Wayne Nelson.
“Some will cry, some will sing and dance, but all will relive memories that music connects them to,” said Nelson. “It becomes a party every night.”
The 47-year-old five-member group will make its Freeman Arts Pavilion debut on Friday, July 22, beginning at 7 p.m.
The band, which was originally formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1975, is currently composed of Nelson, Chris Marion on keyboard and vocals, Ryan Ricks on drums, percussion and vocals, Colin Whinnery on guitar and vocals, and Bruce Wallace on keyboard and vocals. (None of the current performers is Australian, and none is an original member.)
“The band features five very distinct personalities at play,” said Nelson. “LRB has always been at its best when the band members were allowed and encouraged to be themselves. Otherwise, our performance would be packaged and stale.”
Nelson noted that the band plays with plenty of synergy “because all five of us sing tightly together. To do so requires a mental discipline to stay in tune and in time, and a physical discipline to keep our voices healthy,” he said. “We also play our instruments with the same discipline, sometimes with orchestral players onstage with us. Lastly, we float on top of that discipline and have a lot of fun performing the show with new energy every night. Audiences deserve that!”
The Little River Band, which has achieved success in both Australia and the United States, has sold more than 30 million records. Six of their studio albums have reached the Top 10 in Australia, including “Diamantina Cocktail” (1977) and “First Under the Wire” (1979), which both peaked at No. 2. Nine of the group’s singles appeared in the Top 20 on the singles chart, with “Help Is on Its Way” (1977) being a No. 1 hit. A total of 10 of their singles reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, with “Reminiscing” peaking at No. 3.
LRB is also considered to be among Australia’s most significant bands. They have sold more than 30 million records and achieved 13 United States Top 40 hits. In 2001, the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) named the band’s song “Cool Change” as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time as part of its 75th anniversary celebration.
The band’s songs, Nelson said, “were never dependent on a fad — a haircut, makeup, spandex, phone numbers, or any other marketing gimmick. Our songs have always been about life. Life stays pretty much the same — the toys just evolve. So those 47-year-old songs are still resonating with young and old. Add to that a live show full of energy with good musicians that all sing, and the bus keeps rolling.”
Nelson identifies Little River Band’s genre as melodic rock that consists of big vocal harmonies. Those harmonies he said, “are a large part of the band’s signature sound, but so are the layered guitar harmonies. And although there are a couple of quieter songs in the set, there’s plenty of rock and roll in there, too.”
The group’s lyrics salute the sacrifices of military and first-responders, Nelson noted, adding that they “acknowledge the search for meaning in life,” he added, “and they speak to the fragility of human relationships. We leave it to the listener to pick which one speaks to them the most.”
The Freeman Arts Pavilion is located at 31806 Lakeview Drive, west of Fenwick Island, near Selbyville. To purchase tickets, call (302) 436-3015 or access the Freeman Arts Pavilion website at www.freemanarts.org.