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  • Writer's pictureBill Hernandez

Review: REO Speedwagon

Updated: Jun 21, 2018




REO Speedwagon


Whenever I review a concert that takes place during the week, rarely does the venue ever sell out. You're lucky if three-quarters of the seats are filled. Last night was a first in such a long time and I should have guessed that the Perfect Vodka Amphitheater would basically sell-out with the stellar line-up playing. For a Wednesday night concert, this certainly was a Saturday night crowd, ready to rock into the night.

Legendary musicians Don Felder, REO Speedwagon, and STYX brought a trifecta of unforgettable music, both old and new, and for the young and old. I thank all three for allowing all of us to travel in their time machine and reliving the music and the moments that make us who we are today.

The fist to take the stage is Don Felder.

The legendary guitarist/songwriter responsible for one of the most recognized songs in the history of music, Hotel California, wowed the crowd with throw-backs from the Eagles. Towards the end of his set, Tommy Shaw of STYX joined Felder for a couple of songs.Highlights include Take It Easy and Hotel California. Needless to say, Felder’s guitar playing was mesmerizing and unforgettable. Vocals could not have been more on point.What an amazing performance by a man, who’s guitar playing changed the face of music in the seventies.

Kevin Cronin and his motley rockers of REO Speedwagon hit the stage hard with many of their greatest hits. Keep Pushin On, Take It On The Run, I Can't Fight This Feeling, Don't Let Him Go, and Time For Me To Fly were played to perfection and took you back to the eighties in an instant. Not sure if Cronin had throat issues last night because his vocals wavered a bit during many of the songs, nevertheless a powerful set that many in the audience could not help but sing along with.

Last, but certainly not the least, was  STYX. This band hit all the right notes tonight. With the bands new album, The Mission climbing the charts, it was certain that the band would be playing selections from this great, new catalog of music. And they did! Sharing the vocal duties with Tommy Shaw  was keyboardist Lawrence Gowan and guitarist James “JY” Young. This gave the band diversity and allowed the fans to hear songs a little differently than usual. All time favorite songs, such as Lady, Blue Collar Man, Come Sail Away, and Too Much Time On My Hands were played loud and proud and many to standing ovations. STYX was the sure favorite tonight and left the fans demanding more.

This concert was one of the best I have seen in a while. Judging by the reaction of those in attendance, I believe it was one of theirs too.


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