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STYX, REO SPEEDWAGON, LOVERBOY In Mansfield, MA With Photos!

By George Dionne, Podcaster
Friday, September 2, 2022 @ 10:51 AM


At TheXfinity Center on August 19, 2022

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All Photos By George Dionne/@rockisgeorge

It was a warm summer night just outside of Boston, when the Live & UnZoomed Tour came to town. The bill was stacked with co-headliners STYX and REO SPEEDWAGON with special guests LOVERBOY. It would be hard to argue that acts of the ‘70s and ‘80s have had their day, because the capacity crowd would say otherwise. It was a cross-generational audience in attendance, and that speaks volumes for the success of these longtime radio champions. I had the chance to speak to STYX co-vocalist and keyboardist Lawrence Gowan ahead of the Massachusetts show HERE.

LOVERBOY

I never had the chance to catch LOVERBOY live during their red leather pants days, so expectations were high. As soon as LOVERBOY hit the stage, my expectations were surpassed. It was an abbreviated set, likely due to the absence of guitarist Paul Dean, but Mike Reno commanded the stage with 8 of LOVERBOY’s greatest. The capacity crowd ate up songs like “Lucky Ones”, “The Kid Is Hot Tonight” and sang along enthusiastically with “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”, “Turn Me Loose” and for the closer, “Working For The Weekend”.

REO SPEEDWAGON

When you think of great Rock and Roll cities and towns, the last place you think of is Champaign, Illinois. REO SPEEDWAGON took the stage to show the crowd just how they do things in their hometown. It was standing room only as the band fired through 9 of their biggest radio hits and 4 deeper cuts.

Maybe those 4 cuts weren’t so deep as my REO fandom started in the ‘80s, but REO’s performances of “Keep Pushin’”, “Live Every Moment”, “Like You Do” and “Back On The Road Again” are certainly as radio single friendly as “Take It On The Run” or “Roll With The Changes”.

Of course, the audience went crazy for the mega-hit “Can’t Fight This Feeling” as vocalist Kevin Cronin slowed things down for emotional effect. REO always delivered great ballads, and when Cronin took his seat behind the piano for “Keep On Loving You” the crowd backed him up on vocals.

STYX

Of the three bands on the bill, STYX was the only one with a new album out. In fact, they have released two new studio albums since the last REO SPEEDWAGON or LOVERBOY album. With a catalog that spans 50 years and 17 albums, STYX found a way to balance their historic past with the surging present. STYX’s year old album Crash of The Crown returned to the Top 20 when this tour started, and the album’s opening track “The Fight of Our Lives” kicked off their set while blending seamlessly with “Blue Collar Man”. The vocal harmonies within the group are simply amazing.

Lawrence Gowan made you forget it wasn’t he who originally sang “The Grand Illusion” and “Lady” with his powerful delivery. While STYX found a way to work in their new material, they still delivered the songs most of you know and love. Their performance of “Rockin’ The Paradise” was an in-your-face carnival of melody and visuals.

Guitarist Tommy Shaw not only commanded the stage with his fretwork, but also his un-aging vocals. Shaw could not hide his pride in the newer material “Sound The Alarm” and “Light Up”. STYX brought the house down with their encore of “Mr. Roboto” and “Renegade”. It is so great to see the band embracing “Mr. Roboto” again.

Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By George Dionne/@rockisgeorge


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