Styx, REO Speedwagon and Nugent still up to rocking the crowd
Ted Nugent — the fiery Motor City Madman — seems like a peculiar third wheel on a rock tour featuring clean and classy bands REO Speedwagon and Styx. But, Nugent sure gave the show an interesting and peppery start Sunday night at the First Niagara Pavilion in Burgettstown.
The rocker mixed some fun songs — like the classic “Cat Scratch Fever” — with his characteristic outspoken political dialogue that resembled, at times, an NRA rally. The odes to guns were mild compared to the finale of his performance, though. Nugent had some colorful names for President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other administration members. Judging by the reaction to the rocker's salty and often amusing outbursts, Nugent was in good company.
Then, came REO Speedwagon, a band known mostly for its power ballads from the 1970s and ‘80s. REO, dealing with the time constraints of the three-act concert, did only a 10-song set, leaving fans wanting more. But, lead singer Kevin Cronin and his bandmates still gave those in attendance some favorites, including “Take It on the Run,” “Time for Me to Fly” and a lovely rendering of “Keep on Loving You.”
Aging REO band members still show great passion and enthusiasm for their music. Unfortunately, Cronin's distinctive tenor voice had moments of hoarseness.
Finally, Styx crowned the evening with good, clean rock. Styx performs as an ensemble with no clear frontman, and the lead vocals are split between guitarists Tommy Shaw and James “J.Y.” Young and keyboardist Lawrence Gowan. It creates the stage environment of a three-ring circus, with the audience always having something different to watch.
Gowan, with his trademark rotating keyboard and his joking ways, can especially draw attention. One of the best parts of the night was Gowan's performance of “Come Sail Away.”
After more than three decades, Styx still puts on high-energy shows with strong vocals and instrumentation, not to mention an engaging stage presence with a clear love for the audience. Still, the elimination of some of the band's biggest hits — like “Mr. Roboto” and “Babe” — is done because of the Dennis DeYoung connection, It creates a void in the set list.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.