Midwest Rock ‘n Roll Express – Kansas City, MO (Styx, REO Speedwagon & Ted Nugent)

Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon and Styx rolled into Kansas City on Friday night and performed to a capacity crowd of over 7,000.  It’s a good thing it’s an outdoor theater, because they would have blown the lid off the place.

Ted Nugent took to the stage first, and while he has made headlines in recent years for his political leanings, he did show Kansas City that he still knows how to rock, playing his hits like Wango Tango, Stranglehold and Cat Scratch Fever.  Ted also paid tribute to the roots of Rock ‘n Roll, by doing a Motown medley, covering such hits as My Girl and Johnny B. Goode. The Motor City Madman truly lived up to his name

After a quick 15 minute set change, REO Speedwagon was ready to take the stage. While Kevin Cronin can’t quite hit the high notes like he used to, he can still sing as wonderfully as he did in the 70’s and 80’s. Though the stormy weather that had been plaguing the Midwest held off that night, we were still Riding the Storm Out with REO.

 Closing out the night was Styx, one of the pioneers of arena rock. While Styx is one of my favorite bands, in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I am a huge fan of Dennis DeYoung, though Lawrence Gowan is highly capable and performs Dennis’ songs very well, it’s just not classic Styx, but that’s a common theme in classic rock bands.

Styx took to the stage with a load of energy, as evidenced by Tommy Shaw’s high kicks that he seemed to be doing all through Blue Collar Man. Rounding out the band was James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Ricky Phillips on bass and Todd Sucherman on drums (though original bassist, Chuck Panazzo did join the other members on stage).

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