Live Gig Review and Photos: DJ
The Live and Unzoomed Tour was set to arrive at the much talked about Orion Amphitheater, bringing MTV darlings Loverboy and REO Speedwagon as openers for the legendary Styx.
Pretty darn impressive that the bands have been on the road since late May, hitting a bunch of cities, playing the old classics, and amassing tons of fans who for many of their songs we’re the tunes of their youth. We have spoken before about so many legacy bands re-inventing themselves in the limelight to keep on trucking, either with different members, singers, etc etc. The coolest thing about all of this is seeing the generation of fans in the audience when their parents bring their kids to these shows, that always makes it a highlight for me.
But on top of that, you get to witness iconic Classic Rock bands that left an impact on the world of Rock and to this day manage to endure the effs and flows of the industry to still move forward and create music.
On this Tuesday night fans quickly enter the Orion, as the opener Loverboy from Calgary takes the stage. Mike Reno the larger-than-life personality with the bandanna quickly gets things started on a rather cool evening. Interestingly to note when Loverboy first came on the scene, many of the major labels in the USA did not jump on board to sign them, yet they manage to secure a record deal with Columbia Records in Canada which put the band on the map playing tons of shows. Most probably remember their hits on MTV back when that channel you know played videos.
The guys steadily play through their setlist with their popular numbers of “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, “Turn Me Loose” and “Working For The Weekend” of course being crowd pleasers.
Next up is REO Speedwagon as the night dawns and the road crew gets the stage ready, we see the guys pop in front and center and launch right into “Don’t Let Him Go”, a cut taken from their eponymous 1980 release “Hi Infidelity”. Kevin Cronin provides the crowd with that majestic REO sound, always replicating with the blissful guitars of legendary Dave Amato and the tight rhythms of Bruce Hall.
Of course mandatory hits the likes of “Take It On The Run” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” get plenty of crowed infused jolts of cheers, but other numbers like “Time For Me To Fly” and “Ridin’ The Storm Out” that truly brings it all back for many in the audience. Overall the band sounds tight and the guitars are as melodic as the material demands that there is. Finally “Roll With the Changes” brings it all to a conclusion and again the sound here is fantastic, for a band that’s been around since the 70s, they deliver a pretty inspiring performance.
Getting a few minutes past 9 PM, Styx gets ready to man the stage. Is hard to fathom the roots of Styx can be traced back to the early 60s, but it wasn’t until 1972 when they came to be. What a long and historic career they have had.
The world stage is greeted by Alabamian legend and Hall of Fame inductee, Tommy Shaw, who dazzles and sparkles with his white and silver attire. The guys launch into “The Fight Of Our Lives” which comes off their last record “Crash of the Crown” which came out last year. Then the crowd gets what they have been waiting to hear, classics the likes of “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights” and “The Grand Illusion” are all expertly performed. The guitars of James JY Young are always on point, and the dueling action between him and Shaw is a thing to behold. Other distinguished cuts on this night are achieved via “Fooling Yourself” and “Too Much Time On My Hands”. Both numbers feature the great drum work of Todd Sucherman, a beast on the skins.
The encore leaves no room for the weary as “Come Sail Away” displays the great ivory work of Lawrence Gowan. Alongside classics such as”Mr. Roboto” and of course “Renegade” delivers firmly on a night filled with plenty of classics.
The legacy aura of these bands will always live on, just think of the history and countless others they have influenced over the years. If you are fortunate to get out to the last remaining dates of the tour, do so as your night will be filled with much reminiscing of days gone by.