Styx and REO Speedwagon Thrilled a Sold-Out Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis Friday

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

–by Sean Derrick

Classic Rock stalwarts Styx and REO Speedwagon are in the very early stages of their “Live and Unzoomed Tour” with Loverboy, but when they played Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis Friday for only the 3rd show of the tour they already seemed in mid-tour form.

This isn’t the first time these two iconic bands have toured together. In fact, this tour marks the 6th such tour since their 2000 co-headlining tour, which bore the double live album Arch Allies: Live From Riverport. The name of the venue might have changed (a couple times), but the energy and magic these two bands create for a live show hasn’t.

REO Speedwagon performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

And looking at the gate receipts of a sold-out St. Louis crowd (along with many other stops selling out or close to it), why would they break from what works? Besides, Styx and REO Speedwagon are a perfect match to co-headline tours with. Their music and stage presence compliment each other’s beautifully.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

The last time the toured together was in 2018, so it seemed like the time was right to team up again. The jam-packed crowd sure thought so, too.

After a rockin’ 40-minute set from Loverboy Styx came out to the opening track to their latest album Crash of the Crown, a short (under 2 minutes) rocker that has some intelligence to it (as bassist Ricky Phillips told us in a recent interview) then ran right into “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” and showing us immediately that Guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw hasn’t lost a step, or a leap.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Tommy Shaw is an ageless little ball of energy who is larger than life every time he on stage. It’s hard to believe this dude is 68.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Vocalist/Keyboardist Lawrence Gowan was his usual showman style, spinning the keyboard and playing behind his back while singing perfect pitch.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Styx added their producer and co-writer from Crash of the Crown and The Mission, Will Evankovich, as a 7th touring member to give extra vocal harmonies and depth, along with more depth with another guitar. The effect has paid off as the already rich sounds of their songs get an extra kick live. I have always loved “Mr. Roboto” and am super excited that they have brought it back again this tour, but damn, this show seemed to give that song a harder edge to it. I have seen videos from other cities from past few years, and I know it doesn’t do it justice, but I swear this show had a little more kick to that song, and it was fabulous.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Top to bottom a solid kick-ass set from a band that seems to get better as they age.

Founding member Chuck Panozzo is on the tour and came out and played a handful of songs at the end. Good to see he is doing well and still contributing.

Fellow Illinoisans REO Speedwagon had the pressure of following Styx’s 13 song set with their own13 song set, and they brought the big guns and energy to back it up.

REO Speedwagon performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

REO Speedwagon have been together a bit longer than STYX, but not by much, and have publicly stated it was with help from the St. Louis fans and local rock station KSHE95 that pushed them to the success they have. Vocalist Kevin Cronin was quick to reiterate that point again Friday night.

REO Speedwagon performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Cronin also referenced their first St. Louis show 50 years ago in 1972 at the old Kiel Auditorium and remembered the first song they played here was “Like You Do” then promptly jammed an 8-minute version of the song for the fans. I mean, that is what they do. The song is already over 6 1/2 minutes long, but REO Speedwagon loves to jam, and they continued that trend Friday.

REO Speedwagon performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

While the lineup was in flux in the early 1970’s the band (Cron – guitar/vocals, Neal Doughty – Keyboards, Bruce Hall – bass, Dave Amato – lead guitar, and Bryan Hitt – drums) haven’t had any member changes since 1989. (I would like to hear another album from these guys, considering it has been since 2007’s Find Your Own Way Home since we had any new REO music. Much to long for this great band.

REO Speedwagon performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

All three bands were tight and sounded great. It doesn’t matter if you are old or young this is a must-see tour to catch if you want high energy classic rock with beautiful harmonics and excellent stage presence. The tour runs through August 21.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery of the night after the set lists below.

REO Speedwagon/Styx Tour Dates:

DATE               CITY                            VENUE                                    CLOSER

Tue 6/7            Milwaukee, WI              American Family Insurance Amp. REO Speedwagon

Wed 6/8           Clarkston, MI                DTE Energy Music Theatre       Styx

Fri 6/10            Noblesville, IN               Ruoff Music Center                   REO Speedwagon

Sat 6/11           Cincinnati, OH              Riverbend Music Center            Styx

* Mon 6/13       Rogers, AR                   Walmart Amphitheatre              REO Speedwagon

Tue 6/14          Kansas City, MO           Starlight Theatre                       REO Speedwagon

Fri 6/17            Alpharetta, GA             Ameris Bank Amphitheatre       Styx

Sat 6/18           Tampa, FL                    MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amp. REO Speedwagon

Sun 6/19          West Palm Beach, FL   iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre Styx

Fri 7/8              Denver, CO                  Ball Arena                                Styx

Sat 7/9             Salt Lake City, UT         USANA Amphitheatre               REO Speedwagon

Tue 7/12          Auburn, WA                  White River Amphitheatre         REO Speedwagon

Wed 7/13         Ridgefield, WA              RV Inn Style Resorts Amp.        Styx

Fri 7/15            Mountain View, CA       Shoreline Amphitheatre            Styx

Sat 7/16           Irvine, CA                     FivePoint Amphitheatre            REO Speedwagon

Tue 7/19          Chula Vista, CA            North Island Credit Union Amp.  Styx

Wed 7/20         Phoenix, AZ                 Ak-Chin Pavilion                       REO Speedwagon

Fri 7/22            Austin, TX                    Germania Insurance Amp.        Styx

Sat 7/23           Dallas, TX                     Dos Equis Pavilion                    Styx

Sun 7/24          Woodlands, TX             Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion REO Speedwagon

Fri 8/5              Virginia Beach, VA        Veterans United Home Loans Amp. REO Speedwagon

Sat 8/6             Charlotte, NC                PNC Music Pavilion                  Styx

Mon 8/8            Nashville, TN                Ascend Amphitheater               Styx

Wed 8/10         Raleigh, NC                  Coastal Credit Union Music Park REO Speedwagon

Fri 8/12            Bristow, VA                   Jiffy Lube Live                          REO Speedwagon

Sat 8/13           Camden, NJ                 BB&T Pavilion                          Styx

Tue 8/16          Toronto, ONT.              Budweiser Stage                      Styx

Wed 8/17         Saratoga Springs, NY   Saratoga Performing Arts Center REO Speedwagon

Fri 8/19            Mansfield, MA               Xfinity Center                            Styx

Sat 8/20           Holmdel, NJ                  PNC Bank Arts Center              Styx

Sun 8/21          Wantagh, NY                Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

STYX Setlist:

The Fight of Our Lives

Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)

The Grand Illusion

Lady

Crash of the Crown

Light Up

Sound the Alarm

Rockin’ the Paradise

Foolin’ Yourself (The Angry Young Man)

Too Much Time on My Hands

Come Sail Away

Mr. Roboto

Renegade

James “JY” Young of Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis on Friday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

REO Speedwagon Setlist:

Music Man

Take It on the Run

Keep Pushin’

Live Every Moment

Tough Guys

Can’t Fight This Feeling

Like You Do

Don’t Let Him Go

Time for Me to Fly

Back on the Road Again

Ridin’ the Storm Out

Keep On Loving You

Roll With the Changes

 

4 thoughts on “Styx and REO Speedwagon Thrilled a Sold-Out Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis Friday

  • June 5, 2022 at 9:18 pm
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    As always, great review.

    Reply
  • June 6, 2022 at 4:20 pm
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    Sold out, but 1/2 the fans were on the streets in cars trying to get in! Shameful

    Reply
    • June 11, 2022 at 6:17 pm
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      Yep I finally got to my seats just in time for Styx’s encore. So disappointed ☹️

      Reply
      • June 19, 2022 at 7:22 am
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        Such BS waitin and waitin to get in 2- 2half hrs later with 1 entryway mind u to finally get in thinkin oh Finally then notice Loverboy already played their whole show !! AND PPL WERE STILL TRING TO GET IN THE ONLY 1 ENTRYWAY INSTEAD OF THE FEW THEY NORMALLY DO!! COME ON ALL THIS PPL FOR 3 BANDS!!!! LOTS OF PPL DIDNT EVEN GET IN OR JUST LEFT SAID WASNT WORTH IT!! SO SAD….
        😡 😭 😡 * SUCH A JOKE *

        Reply

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