REO Speedwagon and Styx celebrated KSHE 95 with a great rock show Sunday

Styx photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

–By Sean Derrick

It was a Turn-back-the-clock kind of night Sunday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis as the iconic radio station KSHE 95 hosted a “Pig Roast” with rock legends REO Speedwagon and Styx.

REO Speedwagon photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

KSHE, which is turning 50 this year (the longest running rock radio format station in the world), held the Pig Roast in honor of the event. For those that aren’t familiar with KSHE and why they hold a Pig Roast, their mascot is Sweet Meat, a pink pig, and is forever intertwined with the station.

REO Speedwagon is too. In fact, the band routinely credits the station as being the first station in the country to play an REO Speedwagon song.

REO Speedwagon photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

The quintet from Champaign, IL has always been a popular draw in the Gateway city, and Sunday was no different. With a large crowd filed in opening acts Joe Dirt, Michael Stanley, and Don Felder kept the crowd entertained until Styx hit the stage for a strong set that included the songs “Gone, Gone, Gone”, “Radio Silence” and the instrumental “Khedive” from their just released CD The Mission, a concept album about a manned mission to Mars in 2033.

Styx photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

Listening to the album transported me back to the 70’s in its style and complexity. (FYI – Styx is selling a cool The Mission patch at its merch table at shows that I hope they make available online. But if you go to one of the shows you gotta check out the patch.)

Styx set was strong throughout the night. Guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw sounded great on vocals, as was keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan (Who shined brightest during his solo segment of “Khedive” and the covers of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and ‘Golden Slumbers” leading up to a powerful showing on “Come Sail Away”.

Styx photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

The rest of the band (guitarist/vocalist James “JY” Young, bassist Ricky Phillips and drummer Todd Sucherman) were spot on. The set was made more memorable with the appearance of original bassist Chuck Panozzo, who performs only select shows on the tour due to health reasons. Fans didn’t get to see him play at the Peabody Opera House in April 2016 so this was a nice surprise.

Much like Styx, REO Speedwagon’s set was spot on and high energy.

They stormed out to the raucous “Don’t Let Him Go”, a great opening number from a band with many options to choose from. They didn’t slow down as they roared right into “Keep Pushin'”.

REO Speedwagon photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

Throughout the set lead singer Kevin Cronin’s voice was superb, highlighted by “Take It on the Run” and “Keep on Loving You”.

Cronin described how REO’s signature song “Golden Country” was written during the turmoil in America before the Watergate scandal, but its message was the same today as back then and called for unity and peace.

The crowd was amped up for the performance and it showed. By the time the band dedicated “Ridin’ the Storm Out” to their late former guitarist Gary Richrath the energy was at a crescendo.

REO Speedwagon photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

After an encore of “Keep on Lovin’ You” and “Roll With the Changes” the fans were treated to a fireworks show.

It was my first time seeing REO Speedwagon live and from their performance at the KSHE Pig Roast, it won’t be the last.

Check out the gallery of photos from the night after the setlists.

REO Speedwagon Setlist:

REO Speedwagon photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

Don’t Let Him Go

Keep Pushin’

Can’t Fight This feeling

Tough Guys

Whipping Boy (New song)

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


Styx Setlist:

Styx photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography

Gone, Gone, Gone

Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)

The Grand Illusion


Light Up

Radio Silence

Miss America

Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)

Too Much Time on My Hands


Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover, Lawrence Gowan solo)

Golden Slumbers (The Beatles cover, Lawrence Gowan solo)

Come Sail Away


Rockin’ the Paradise



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