May 8, 2013 REO, Styx, Nugent rock the house
When three classic powerhouse rock acts get together for an evening of music and fun, there's bound to be plenty of both.
Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon and Styx thoroughly rocked a full house at
Grand Prairie's Verizon Center Tuesday night, and the fans, some of
them as far away as Wichita Falls, aren't likely to forget it anytime
Ted Nugent opened the show with the brash, fun-loving attitude and
all-out energy that has made him a worldwide rock star for more than
four decades. With just three musicians backing up his blister-hot
guitar licks and over-the-top hit songs, "Uncle Ted" filled the massive
room with a presence that could be felt as well as heard all the way up
to the rafter seats, and if any concert-goers minded his trademark salty
language, or when he played fifteen minutes over his allotted time,
they didn't say so.
Of course, "Stranglehold," "Wango Tango" and "Cat Scratch Fever" were
crowd favorites, but he could have played an insurance brief set to
music and he would still have rocked.
Removing Nugent's fairly elaborate stage set and replacing it with
REO Speedwagon's far more elaborate multi-level stage set took less than
fifteen minutes, and showed a remarkable level of focus and
professionalism on the part of each band's road crews. Those guys are
good at their jobs!
Even while fans were still standing in line for drinks or a restroom
break, thinking the changeover would last longer, lead singer Kevin
Cronin and his Speedwagon pals kicked off with their monster hit "Don't
Let Him Go."
In a high-energy set that included "Can't Fight This Feeling," "Roll
With The Changes," "Time For Me To Fly," "Take It On The Run" and "Keep
On Loving You," REO kept the crowd on its feet. Bassist and founding
member Bruce Hall took a turn on lead vocal duties with "Back On The
Road Again," and Cronin referred to him as "REO's secret weapon." He was
right. REO Speedwagon might have succeeded anyway without Hall's
solidly driving bass and impeccable vocal harmonies, but it wouldn't
have been with quite the same sound.
Leaving the crowd cheering, REO took a last bow and threw a last few
guitar picks and drum sticks into the audience while the stage crews
went to work again.
In what seemed like no time at all, Styx hit the stage, charged into
"Blue Collar Man," and the energy level went through the roof once
With the band and the crowd feeding off each other's enthusiasm, Styx
Tommy Shaw, James "JY" Young, Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman and
Lawrence Gowan effortlessly soared through a dynamic set that included
legendary hits such as "Fooling Yourself," "Renegade," "Lady," "Too
Much Time On My Hands," "Come Sail Away" and "Miss America."
It was just right, and the fans didn't mind saying so through their constant passionate response.
Any of the groups could easily have sold out a venue such as the
Verizon Center on their own, but getting all three on the same special
night was something truly exceptional, truly unforgettable. READ FULL