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LIVE: THE UNITED WE ROCK TOUR featuring REO SPEEDWAGON & STYX – July 25, 2017

Venue: DTE Energy Music Theatre

City: Clarkston, MI

Date: July 25, 2017

Review and Photographs by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur (www.toddstarphotography.com)

Classic rock packages that get bundled often pull different bands in order to draw larger crowds from different demographics and genres, but when you add the rock power of REO Speedwagon and Styx together, there is no need to worry about other crowds and genres… between them, they sell out venues and packaging them together brings a monster ticket to the tour circuit.  Toss in Don Felder (formerly of The Eagles) and his catalog and you get a night full of classic rock tracks that help us relive special moments of our own.  When this show landed at DTE Energy Music Theatre (forever logged as Pine Knob in the minds and memories of attendees and rockers alike), the fans spoke… and created a capacity crowd on a fun July Tuesday evening.

Opener Don Felder added one solo track to a set full of Eagles classics, keeping everyone that made it out for his portion of the show engaged and helped ramp up the crowd for the next two acts.  Loving seamlessly through hit after hit, including his own gem “Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride)”.  Breaking into “Take It Easy” Felder and his band were joined on stage by Styx’s Tonny Shaw on vocals, guitar, and banjo.  This was an exciting portion of the show for the fans and the musicians on stage alike.  Set closer “Hotel California” also featured special guests when REO’s Dave Amato and Bryan Hitt came out as well as Styx’s Todd Sucherman.  This ensemble brought the house down as Don wrapped up his set.

From the minute the music of Styx swirled through the air of the venue as an introduction for the band, the excitement in the audience increased and set the stage for what was to come.  As the band each hit the stage and took their respective positions, the crowd got louder and louder.  The band broke their portion of the evening wide open with the exciting “Gone, Gone, Gone” from their latest disc The Mission. Tommy Shaw bounced around stage and traded off vocals all evening with Lawrence and JY, as needed or required for certain tracks.  His vocals were spot on and sounded as good tonight as they ever have.  The rhythm section of Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips is one of the better on the tour trail today – they seemed locked in at every turn as the band winds through classics and other new tracks from their latest release.  Original bassist Chuck Panozzo joined the quintet on staqe to play on three classics – “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),” “Come Sail Away,” and set closer “Renegade.”  Lead guitarist James “J.Y.” Young did what he does best – lay down searing leads and stalking the stage with presence and attitude that flowed through his solos and vocals.  Keyboardist and singer Lawrence Gowan added flair to the show at times, with his bright red jacket to open the show, his dazzling keyboard showmanship, and his overall vocals.  The crowd dug each track the band cranked out, even the new material they played.  They set the bar high for the remainder of the evening…

REO Speedwagon took the stage as planned closing out tonight’s show on a revolving headlining tour.  From the first note to the last, they brought their classic sound and energy to a killer show.  Opening with my personal favorite “Don’t Let Him Go,” the band were on fire and frontman Kevin Cronin sounded as good as he did the first time I heard the song on my Hi Infidelity cassette tape.  Guitarist Dave Amato was all smiles as he played the licks and leads all Speedwagon fans have come to know and love.  Bruce Hall moved about the stage playing his bass and providing backup vocals that helped anchor the sound for the night.  Drummer Bryan Hitt kept time and provided the heavy handed drum sound when needed.  Each song built the foundation for the next, especially as the st moved towards the close and encore.  The one-two punch of “Back on the Road Again” and “Ridin’ the Storm Out” helped close out the regular portion of the show.  The band came out firing on all cylinders as they closed out the evening with “Keep On Loving You” and “Roll With the Changes” giving the fans exactly what they wanted and needed for the evening.

Complete set of REO SPEEDWAGON show photos HERE

REO SPEEDWAGON SETLIST: Don’t Let Him Go – Keep Pushin’ – Can’t Fight This Feeling – Tough Guys – Whipping Boy – That Ain’t Love – Golden Country – Building the Bridge – Take It on the Run – Time for Me to Fly – Back on the Road Again – Ridin’ the Storm Out – Keep On Loving You – Roll With the Changes

REO SPEEDWAGON LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

FACEBOOK

Complete set of STYX show photos HERE

STYX SETLIST: Gone Gone Gone – Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) – The Grand Illusion – Lady – Light Up – Radio Silence – Miss America – Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) – Too Much Time on My Hands – Khedive – Bohemian Rhapsody / Golden Slumbers – Come Sail Away – Rockin’ the Paradise – Renegade

STYX LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Complete set of DON FELDER show photos HERE

DON FELDER SETLIST: Already Gone – One of These Nights – Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride) – Seven Bridges Road – Witchy Woman – The Long Run – Take It Easy – Heartache Tonight – Life in the Fast Lane – Hotel California

DON FELDER LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

LIVE: THE UNITED WE ROCK TOUR featuring REO SPEEDWAGON & STYX – July 25, 2017

Filed Under: Live ReviewsPhoto Galleries

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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