Just over a week into a combined summer concert tour, STYX brings the show to their hometown crowd at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.
The legendary rock band STYX has joined forces with their friends and music icons Don Felder and REO Speedwagon to form the United We Rock Tour 2017.
The tour started off on June 20 in Ridgefield, WA and ends in Holmdel, NJ on August 22. On the eighth night of the 32 city summer tour, the city of Chicago gets the opportunity to welcome home their homegrown musical heroes.
Starting the evening’s show is Don Felder, the former Eagles lead guitarist. Casually strolling out on stage to join his band, Don opens with “Already Gone” before merging right into “One Of These Nights.” Next he introduces “Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride)” the song he wrote in 1981 for the sci-fy animated movie. Joking with the crowd, Don remarks “If you did see it, you weren’t high enough.”
Continuing on with his 10 song set, Don includes other hit songs performed while playing and songwriting with the Eagles from 1974 to 2001. From the harmonious “Seven Bridges Road” that they would use backstage for vocal warm-up to “Witchy Woman,” the song he dedicates to all women who may have never had a song dedicated to them.
Asking for some assistance, Tommy Shaw appears on stage to play guitar and sing with him on “Take It Easy.” Before concluding, Tommy switches over to a banjo for the finishing touches.
During Don’s encore, he holds up a double necked guitar as the crowd cheers loudly and asks if they recognize it. He then calls out STYX’s drummer Todd Sucherman for tambourine, REO Speedwagon’s drummer Bryan Hitt on shaker and lead guitarist Dave Amato for a little fun on “Hotel California.”
Although Felder is not joined on stage with vocal harmonies of past band mates Henley and Frey, he holds his own with a smooth rendition of the Eagles hits with the joining of his own band that appeal to the crowd as everyone enjoys and sings along.
Since their inception in 1967 in Champaign, IL. REO Speedwagon has toured the globe headlining tours and festivals while playing to millions of fans over the past 50 years. As part of the United We Rock Tour, REO Speedwagon plays the role as co-headliner.
Co-headlining the tour with alternating roles, REO Speedwagon is in the middle slot for this evening as they start off with their 1981 hit “Don’t Let Him Go.” The crowd instantly jumps to their feet dancing and singing along as the band gets into their rythem for the evening.
As the band comes out strong, they “Keep Pushin'” on through the first couple of songs by gelling one into another before slowing it down with their first ballad of the evening with “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” Keyboardist and band founder Neal Doughty climbs behind the piano to help accompany Kevin.
Welcoming the crowd, Kevin Cronin the lead vocalist speaks of his love for Illinois and the city of Chicago as he is a native of Evanston, a northern suburb of the city. Stating that the band has never performed at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, “it doesn’t matter where we perform as it is all about the songs and bringing people together.”
Kevin then introduces “Whipping Boy” as a song that has never been recorded but maybe someday they will get around to it.
“Golden Country” was written and recorded on the backdrop of Vietnam where we were between the established and the youth. Now 45 years later, the same continues as it is now about the right and the left. The song highlights Dave Amato on lead guitar with solos throughout before being joined by drummer Bryan Hitt with a drum/guitar finale.
The crowd quickly comes back to life jumping up and helping with the vocals on “Take It On The Run” before Bryan opens up on “Time For Me To Fly” with a cymbal solo.
Not to be left out, bassist Bruce Hall opens with a thunderous beginning before taking over the vocals on “Back On The Road Again.”
Before ending their set, Neal sets the pace with his all familiar intro on keys to “Ridin’ The Storm Out.”
Returning for a two song encore, Kevin sits at the piano and talks of waking up in 1980 with a tune in his head and calling his producer to record it with his friend. He now dedicates “Keep On Loving You” to his late friend and former lead guitarist Gary Richrath.
Wrapping up their 80 minute performance, REO Speedwagon closes with “Roll With The Change.”
As it is now time for Chicago’s own to take to the stage, the crowd jumps to their feet and cheers on as the band slowly enters up on stage from behind the drum stage while “Overture” plays throughout the amphitheater.
When all are in their proper places, the stage lights come up as the band opens with their current single “Gone, Gone, Gone” from their recently (June 16) released new album The Mission. The album is the band’s 16th album to date and their first album in 14 years.
The show continues on with “Blue Collar Man” and “The Grand Illusion” that showcase solos by guitarists Tommy Shaw and James “JY” Young as they march from one side of the stage to the other for the fans to get an up close view of them playing and having fun on stage. Lawrence Gowan dances in circles as he travels around the base of his spinning keyboards as he often spins around himself to play his keyboards backwards.
Lawrence next takes to the vocals for the popular 1973 rock ballad “Lady” while the crowd joins in with background vocals.
With The Grand Illusion album celebrating it’s 40th anniversary and the release of the new album, this is a special year for STYX. The new album was #6 on the charts the first week it was released due to all the excitement surrounding it. Tommy thanks the crowd for helping the band achieve the feat and introduces the next single “Radio Silence” as a way of saying Thank You.
STYX was founded in a basement in Chicago in 1972 by two brothers and a friend. Since then the band has moved from playing in the basement to performing in world class theaters and arenas across the world. Although band members have come and gone since the formation 45 years ago, the band STYX hasn’t forgotten where it calls home and comes back to Chicago every chance it gets. Three of the current band members call Chicago home; James Young, Todd Sucherman and original co-founder and part time bass player Chuck Panozzo.
As the band breaks into “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” Tommy Shaw calls out and introduces Chuck to the stage while the crowd gives him a rousing standing ovation.
Keeping the party like atmosphere going, Lawrence breaks in with a synthesizer intro to “Too Much Time On My Hands” while the crowd jumps up and down singing and dancing.
At the conclusion of the song, the band leaves the stage leaving Lawrence alone at his keyboard for a solo moment with snippets of “Khedive” off the new album before what he called “going to add a bit of opera to the show” with “Bohemian Rhapsody” from Queen and “Golden Slumbers” by The Beatles.
The band returns to the stage to join Lawrence as he plays his piano intro to “Come Sail Away,” one of STYX’s biggest hits songs of their career.
After once again leaving the stage and being called back with chants for an encore, STYX returns to finish the evening off with more of their fans favorites “Rockin’ The Paradise” and “Renegade.”
The band exits the stage after coming together at center stage for a group bow while thanking the fans for another year of allowing them to do what they do.
As the show concludes and fans exit out of the amphitheatre, they continue singing and dancing to the songs that have made the bands popular for the past five decades. With artists like Don Felder, REO Speedwagon and STYX, their music is a lasting testament to great music that will last through time and continue to raise new fans for decades to come.
Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Overture 1. Gone, Gone, Gone 2. Blue Collar Night (Long Nights) 3. The Grand Illusion 4. Lady 5. Light Up 6. Radio Silence 7. Miss America 8. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) 9. Too Much Time On My Hands 10. Khedive 11. Bohemian Rhapsody 12. Golden Slumbers 13. Come Sail Away Encore 14. Rockin’ The Paradise 15. Renegade The Outpost
REO Speedwagon setlist:
- Don’t Let Him Go 2. Keep Pushin’ 3. Can’t Fight This Feeling 4. Tough Guys 5. Whipping Boy 6. That Ain’t Love 7. Golden Country 8. Building The Bridge 9. Take It On The Run 10. Time For Me To Fly 11. Back On The Road Again 12. Ridin’ The Storm Out Encore 13. Keep On Loving You 14. Roll With The Changes
Don Felder setlist:
- Already Gone 2. One Of These Nights 3. Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride) 4. Seven Bridges Road 5. Witchy Woman 6. The Long Run 7. Take It Easy Encore 8. Heartache Tonight 9. Life In The Fast Lane 10. Hotel California
Show Date: 01-July-2017