The fans from all over, aging from young to seasoned came out June 8th for one hell of a night as they prepared to take a blast from the past at the Ball Area in Denver, CO. With an amazing lineup of Loverboy, REO Speedwagon, and Styx the arena was packed from floor to the nose bleeds with fans ready to see how time has aged these all-star bands.
Starting the night off, we had the Canadian Rock band Loverboy that opened the night out with some steady keys from the original member Doug Johnson which lead to a drumline from Matt ‘Matty’ Frentte that held the rhythm as the rest of the band joined the stage. Lead singer Mike Reno took charge welcoming the entire crowd to a night they will not soon forget as they rocked the stage for an hour set with some of their biggest hits.
Once the chants slowed down, the soft drumline opened up into their original track “Notorious”, then without a skip in beat feel into “Lucky Ones, Queen of The Broken Hearts, and The Kid is Hot Tonight”. They then stepped back to the crowd as guitarist Ken ‘Spider’ Sinnaeve and bassist Paul Dean started a clap-along that peaked into a singalong for one of their bigger hits “Lovin’ Every Minute of It and Hot Girls in Love”. Now that everyone was warmed up, feelin’ the groove they turned towards the end of their set playing what some would consider their biggest hit “Turn Me Loose” sharing vocals with both Reno and Dean before wrapping everything up with “Working for the Weekend”. Originally from back in 1979, these guys still got it, making all the ladies scream and shout.
The following act is no stranger to Colorado, as they’ve been touring here since back in the ’70s, REO Speedwagon! Lear singer Kevin Cornin celebrating his 70th birthday sent the crowd a message on how Rock’n Roll keeps you young and to never stop learning while giving it your all. Proving that age is just a number this tireless frontman brought this show to life. The band dove right in with hits such as “Take It on the Run and Keep Pushin”. Opening the floor up for Dave Amato on the guitar to take the crowd away on a powerful solo.
Introducing REO star Neal Doughty on the grand piano, he joined along with Cornin to play “Can’t Fight This Feeling”. Based on the standing ovation of fans all around the arena, this was a crowd favorite. Taking us back to 1972, playing one of the first songs that Cornin wrote for the band was “Like You Do”, referencing how Denver makes him feel, you could see clear joy splashing out from his vocals that ended with some solid smacks on the cowbell from drummer Bryan Hitt. Fast-forwarding a bit to the early ’80s, came the song “Don’t Let Him Go” from their all-so-famous “Hi Infidelity” album. Next came a song that hit the band a little more at home as it was written here in Boulder, Co “Time for Me to Fly”. As if this wasn’t a big enough hit to begin with Amato switched this up and came back out on stage with a double-neck guitar, making it all that much more of a crowd favorite.
Switching things up a bit, came Bassist Bruce Hall took the floor and sang “Back on the Road Again” which lead to another clap along from the audience. Taking a moment to regroup, Cornin took a minute to show his apparition to the band by giving each member a formal introduction to all the newcomers. Gracefully excepting the appreciation of the crowd Hall, Amato, and Cornin took the front of the stage together as they rocked out to “Ridin’ the Storm Out”. Without skipping a beat, the three separated as the band closed out their amazing set with their personal favorites “Keep On Loving You and Roll With the Changes”.
The time had come for the main act of the evening, the one and only Styx! As soon as the lights went down, the entire arena stood up with the anticipation that built up from the prior two killer classic rock bands. It’s no wonder that Styx is the headlining act for this tour “Crash of the Crown”, as a unit they come together and put on a world-famous performance. With hot shot Rock’n Roll names such as Lawrence Gowan and Tommy Shaw paving the way alongside original band member James “JY” Young this band has yet to age and still has so much to over the music industry.
Walking out to standing ovulation the band opened up their set with a few of their classics such as “The Fight of Our Lives, Blue Collar Man, and The Grand Illusion” prior to having the crowd join together with a clap-along that shocked the entire arena as they played “Lady”. With a quick switch to an acoustic guitar Tommy Shaw (major writer for the band’s music) broke down the energy as he began to play the tour song itself, “Crash of the Crown”. As the night went on we continued to be blown away as they put on one hell of a performance. From Gowan cleverly playing keys on his spinnable keyboard as he did 360’s and danced all over the stage, Ricky Phillips taking center stage with guitar solos, to Todd Sucherman holding down the fort in the background, this is one show that I was honored to be apart of.
Towards the end of the night, they had brought out a surprise guest appearance, American musician, long-time member and found of Styx, Charles “Chuck” Panozzo to play alongside them for “Fooling Yourself” which ended with each string player playing in sync as they walked to the front of the stage and seamlessly tossed their picks out to the crowd. Taking time to do one last fit change, they touched base with “Too Much Time on My Hands” before mashing together a creative set of “Khedive” mixed into “Lost at Sea” before ending it with an extended version of “Come Sail Away”, or so we thought! Of course, they had a little surprise up their sleeves and came back out with an encore to truly end the show with “Mr. Roboto” and one of their biggest hits “Renegade”. For all you die-hard fans out there, make sure to stay tuned as their tour still has quite a few stops before ending in late Aug in Wantagh, NY.