Styxx, REO Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent proved to the masses your never too old to rock with their Midwest Rock and Roll Express tour concert June 30th at Blossum.
Styxx, who closed the show also stole it hands down with their vocals and showmanship. While they have been together for nearly 40 years, they still sounded just as good as they did from days gone by.
Guitarist Tommy Shaw once again was spectacular. Catering to the younger generation, when the band took stage, he wasn't afraid to talk about the band being together nearly 40 years, when he said they were a pre internet band.
Back when we started we had a thing called vinyl." Everyone went nuts.
If the crowd wasn't already energized, Styxx took it up a notch, starting with Blue Collar man, and seemed to play a number of hits from the Grand Illusion album, including, Fooling Yourself, and Come Sail Away.
The band didn't even have to sing during Grand Illusion as the crowd took over with the vocals, " so if you think your life is complete confusion 'cause your neighbor's got it made just remember that it's a grand illusion and deep inside we're all the same."
This after the band spoke words that had meaning for most. "You want to know why your life isn't what you see on tv, in the movies or in a magazine? It's because its not reality, its somebody elses fantasy."
Shaw also paid tribute to former keyboardist Dennis DeYoung during the set, but its current man, Lawrence Gowan did him proud when he took to vocals with Come Sail Away.
The band also teased the Blossum faithful with some favorites from other legendary rock bands, such as the Who's Pin Ball Wizard.
As the iconic song Renegade blared and the crowd let out perhaps its loudest roars of the entire show, the crowd was reminded of what all American rock and roll really means.
The MotorCity Madman opened up the show and both his guitar playing and vocals proved rock and roll is alive and well.
Nugent, who has been outspoken about our nations political forum, was not afraid to express his views, especially a few days after the the Supreme Court ruling on healthcare, when he preached explicitly on his views of national corruption.
But he also had fun, and it was evident during his rendition of ‘Wang Dang Sweet Poon-Tang,’ where he saluted the girls of Ohio in only a way Ted could. His set also included long time favorites such as Just what the Doctor ordered that were guitar heavy and set the tone for the night.
While Nugent was brash, REO Speedwagon also seemed to send a statement out to the crowd about our nation's direction, and the importance of staying informed.
Most of the crowd were baby boomers who still sung chords like it was yesterday, but the political stance they took seemed geared towards the younger fans in attendance.
Golden Country was a prime example of this. A song about the unequal treatment of the American people and their finale, Riding the storm out was also another one.
But the songs also seemed to show the Midwest roots of the band and the blue collar work ethics which built the rust belt and made it thrive once.
That aside, lead singer Kevin Cronin and the rest of the band had people dancing and playing air guitar, and most stood throughout their set. The bands great piano ballads which were played every hour during the 80's on radio stations across the country, and now are heard on classic rock stations, brought back memories of an era where conflict seemed obsolete.
Who from that era didn't own a cassette or vinyl copy of their top selling album Hi Infidelity, and Songs such as the iconic "Time For Me to Fly,” and “Keep on Lovin’ You” made many think of not only heartbreak but also great happiness.
Those two were just part of set list that was extremely refreshing, and included Music Man off the T.W.O. album. During the guitar heavy part of the sets, Dave Amato proved he can still shred a guitar with the best, especially when he opened up for the bands Time for me to fly.
Cronin, who spoke about the current condition of the country prior to Golden County, even took a jab in jest at the Motor City rocker who declared Cat Scratch fever as the "best love song of all time".
“Nugent may have had the number one love song” with ‘Cat Scratch Fever,’ Cronin chirped. "But I'm pretty sure we have one of our own that may have snuck its into the Top Ten as well, and the band immediately went into "Cant fight this feeling", which sent the crowd into a frenzy.
While REO may be showing signs of the years with their graying hair, the enthusiasm and energy on stage was intriguing. These guys not only put on a show, but had fun doing so.