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Styx and Foreigner Gave a Rousing Final Performance Together in Saint Louis Tuesday

Foreigner performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

–by Randy Thompson

–photos by Carrie Ogle

 

On Tuesday night, June 18th, the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater welcomed Styx and Foreigner, together for the final time, along with John Waite for the “Renegades & Juke Box Heroes Tour”.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

There was a decent breeze flowing through the venue that made the 90-degree heat more bearable. The amphitheater appeared to be sold out, and we were ready for some great classic Rock with three certified, tried and true bands.   The pedigree of which was enough to set the stage on fire from the beginning.

John Waite performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

 

John Waite has been a fixture of Rock stations since the ’70s, and he has maintained a loyal following ever since. As both a solo artist and lead singer for bands, including The Babies and Bad English, he has the chops to get the crowd on their feet and he got us ready to rock the night away.  It was fitting that this hard rocking veteran of over 40 years was on hand to deliver a string of power ballads like “When I See You Smile” and blistering arena rock hits like Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” to get the party started.

John Waite performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Waite and his band provided a range of hits from across his career, and the fans responded with enthusiasm during his entire set. He brought an excellent stage presence with a solid delivery that had us stomping our feet and rattling the rafters by the time Foreigner took the stage. He was an excellent warm-up for what was to come.

Foreigner performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Foreigner then hit the stage with guitars blazing, drums pounding out a solid beat, and 20-year veteran lead singer, Kelly Hansen, belting out the hits starting with “Double Vision”.

Foreigner performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Sure, they performed here last July, but that was very early on in their farewell tour. Hansen even stated that some of the places they hit early on could possibly see them back in this same tour. Well, when the opportunity to tour with their buddies in Styx one last time became available, they couldn’t just ignore it. And yes, one of their favorite places to play in Saint Louis was on the itinerary.

Foreigner performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

They are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, with original founding member Mick Jones, still the leader of the band, although much of his work is behind stage due to health issues. But this current lineup, (Hansen – lead vocals, Jeff Pilson – bass, guitarists Bruce Watson and Luis Maldonado, Michael Bluestein – keyboards and Chris Frazer – drums, most have been with this iteration of the band for at least 10 years), exudes the ‘Rock Til You Drop’ attitude that Foreigner brings to the stage.

Foreigner performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

They know their audience, and they arrived tonight ready to please. They gave us exactly what we were looking for, dousing us with hit after hit from “It Feels Like the First Time” to “Urgent”, and moving around the stage with incredible energy and stamina.

Foreigner performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Near the end of the set, Hansen had left the stage while a small part of the band continued to present a drum solo. All of a sudden, near the back of the Pavilion, Hansen appeared victoriously on a lift that rose high above the crowd as he belted out the anthemic hit “Juke Box Hero”. The crowd responded with shrieks and energized applause, as he was lowered back to the ground and ran up the aisle and back up onto the stage.  The positive rapport between the performers was obvious, as was the connection between the band and the audience.

For the encore Hansen called out a portion of the St. Louis Children’s Choir to perform “I Want to Know What Love Is” with the band. He spent time after they were done performing, complimenting the kids on their singing, their courage for showing up in front of thousands of people, and he stressed how proud all of us were of them, encouraging the crowd to show their support.

Foreigner performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

In the quiet after the children made their exit, Hansen sat down on the edge of the stage, solemnly addressing the rumor that this was Foreigner’s farewell tour. He confirmed that this was true, although he stressed that the band itself will not “be totally off of the map. We will still be around in some form, but we need time with our families, to hit a nail with a hammer, and breathe in the sunshine”. The crowd gave them a huge applause to thank them for all that they have given us over the last 47 years of great music. Hansen then thanked the crowd for the many years of support which got them finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.  Not wanting to end on a sad note, the band rocked us out with “Hot Blooded” and gave their farewells.

Foreigner performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

At this point, the prog rock/pop rock band, Styx, took over the stage. Longtime vocalist/guitarist Tommy Shaw was in top form along with vocalist and keyboardist Lawrence Gowan, who’s been with them since 1999. Original member, bassist Chuck Panozzo, made several appearances throughout the evening as well.  Styx has an extensive catalog of melodic hits that have dominated the radio airways over the years.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Formed in Chicago around 1972, they’ve been a popular act on the rock scene ever since. They are an amazing and very tight group, with a very strong following. The audience was on their feet for most of their set, singing along with their extensive catalog, reciting every song word for word throughout the evening.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Styx is not only a prolific band that has put out many albums, most recently making the charts in 2021 with Crash Of The Crown. Guitarist James “JY” Young, another founding member who is known as The Godfather, provides lead vocals on the new title track “Crash of the Crown”.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Shaw is an incredible guitarist who moves about the stage lithely and with almost boundless energy. The same could be said for Gowan who spins around his keyboard as he plays, and he has a voice that is perfectly on pitch for every note on songs like “The Grand Illusion”. He has a very outgoing and charismatic stage presence, which helps when you are one of the lead faces of one of the most successful rock bands of all time.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Styx kept the energy moving throughout their concert, giving us explosive moments of high energy rock with “Miss America” and “Blue Collar Man” that blew the roof off of the place, along with their progressive rock standards “Fooling Yourself” and “Come Sail Away”. At that point, the entire audience had become a part of the band emotionally.

Styx performing at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis. Photo by Carrie Ogle.

Styx ended the night still rocking hard with “Mr. Roboto” and “Renegade”. As we left the Amphitheater, the crowd was energized and happy to have spent the evening with these old friends. They are a timeless band that seems to have found the Fountain of Youth. And, in many different ways, we all found a part of our youth tonight as well.

Be sure to check out the full gallery of photos after the setlists below.

 

John Waite Setlist:

Midnight Rendezvous

Change

When I See You Smile

Tears

Missing You

Head First

Back on My Feet Again

Whole Lotta Love/Let Me Love You Baby (Covers by Led Zeppelin and Buddy Guy)

 

Foreigner Setlist:

Double Vision

Head Games

Cold as Ice

Waiting for a Girl Like You

Dirty White Boy

Feels Like the First Time

Urgent

Drum Solo

Encore

I Want to Know What Love Is

Hot Blooded

 

Styx Setlist:

The Grand Illusion

Too Much Time on My Hands

Lady

Lorelei

Crash of the Crown

Miss America

Rockin’ the Paradise

Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)

The Best of Times

Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)

Come Sail Away

Encore

Mr. Roboto

Renegade

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