United We Rock Tour

w/ Styx, REO Speedwagon, Don Felder

Borgata Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, NJ 8.12.17

Styx put together another of its summer tours, this time featuring REO Speedwagon and Don Felder.  These bands are frequently seen on the road together in various configurations and they have a good chemistry.  While these multiple-headliner shows are great for seeing several of your favorite bands in one night, the worst part is that none of the bands gets a very long set.  It’s a trade-off.  All three managed to get quite a lot into their given time, though, and it was a show certainly worth seeing.

Don Felder started things off.  If you ever wanted to see the Eagles but never had a show near you or couldn’t afford the ticket, go see Don.  He does many of the Eagles biggest hits, and does them very well.  His voice really hasn’t changed much over the years and his band is fantastic.  His set list included “Already Gone”, “One of These Nights”, “Heavy Metal”, “Seven Bridges Road”, “Witchy Woman”, “The Long Run”, “Take It Easy”, “Heartache Tonight”, “Life in the Fast Lane”, and “Hotel California”.  Tommy Shaw of Styx joined him for “Take It Easy” and gave us all a chuckle when he flubbed the lyrics.  That’s OK, Tommy.  It lets us know you’re human, and not lip syncing!  Dave Amato or REO and Todd Sucherman of Styx joined him for “Hotel California” - one of my all-time favorites and performed beautifully.

REO Speedwagon, for all their years in the business, still have tremendous energy in their performance.  Kevin Cronin is another vocalist who still sounds just as good as he did back in the day.  They managed to cram a ton of hits into their set, and included a previously unrecorded tune called “Whipping Boy”.

Set list:  “Don’t Let Him Go”, “Keep Pushing’”, “Can’t Fight This Feeling”, “Tough Guys”, “Whipping Boy”, “That Ain’t Love”, “Take it on the Run”, “Like You Do”, “Time for Me to Fly”, “Back on the Road Again”, “Ridin’ the Storm Out”, “Keep On Lovin’ You”, “Roll With the Changes”

Styx is touring in support of their new album, The Mission.  The album is a concept, the story of a mission to Mars.  Critics and fans alike were skeptical.  Albums like this could be a hard sell back in the days of Album Oriented Rock, since coming up with an entire album of good songs that manage to tell a coherent story is not an easy thing to do.  But in this era of streaming music, it can be difficult to get anyone to listen to anything except the single off an album in the first place.  How do you sell an album like this?  Fans apparently were eager for the new music, because limited edition vinyl sold out quickly.  Fan sites displayed a multitude of comments raving about the album, and critics agreed.  This album was a success!  I have to agree with the fans and critics - I like it.  Their set included several from The Mission, along with many of their hits.  Tommy also still has an amazing voice and seems to never age.  I need his secret!  Lawrence Gowan on the keyboards and vocals is an amazing performer and always leads the audience in a short sing-along medley.  It's probably my favorite part of a Styx show!  The band’s energy was high and they had the entire crowd on its feet for most of the show.  

Set list:  “Overture” (Mission intro), “Get This Show on the Road”, “Blue Collar Man”, “Grand Illusion”, “Lady”, “Light Up”, “Radio Silence”, “Miss America”, “Fooling Yourself”, “Too Much Time On My Hands”, “Khedive”, medley: “Bohemian Rhapsody/ Golden Slumbers”, “Come Sail Away”, “Rockin’ the Paradise”, “Renegade”

Only cell phone photos for this show, and not too many came out, I'm afraid.