Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Don Felder Kick Off Tour Together At AMSOIL Arena [PHOTOS]
AMSOIL Arena in Duluth was the launching point Tuesday night for 2018's three-headed classic rock tour that includes former Eagles member Don Felder, REO Speedwagon, and Styx. The three groups converged in Duluth for the first stop of a nationwide tour that also includes regional stops in Bismarck, ND and Brookings, SD. Styx and Felder have previously been on the road together through the first part of 2018, but REO Speedwagon joined the tour starting with the Duluth stop, continuing through much of the spring months.
Unlike many opening acts at shows, Don Felder opened to a pretty full AMSOIL Arena. The crowd enjoyed a blend of Eagles songs and Felder's solo hit "Heavy Metal" from the soundtrack to the 1981 film by the same name. Among some of the songs Felder performed were "Witchy Woman", "The Long Run", and "Heartache Tonight". Tommy Shaw from Styx helped out with "Take It Easy" and "Hotel California". Dave Amato from REO Speedwagon also joined in on "Hotel California", closing out Felder's set with some extra star power that drew cheers from the audience. Felder's performance sounded great, and was a far and away a fun open to a long night full of classic hits.
REO Speedwagon owned the second slot of the night, leaning on their massive 1980 hit album "Hi Infidelity" to anchor their performance that included their opening number "Don't Let Him Go", as well as "In Your Letter", "Tough Guys", and "Keep On Loving You"; which inspired a stadium-wide singalong as lead singer Kevin Cronin sat perched behind a piano for the song. REO wrapped up their set with a soaring rendition of their "Roll With The Changes" from their 1978 album "You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish".
Headlining act Styx theatrically owned the stage for the night; complete with a catwalk and stairways on either side of the stage and a spinning pedestal keyboard for Lawrence Gowan, who replaced Dennis DeYoung in the 1990s. The group, who is touring behind their new album "The Mission" used the show as an opportunity to market their latest release, but they also paid homage to how they got to where they are.
The group specifically called out "Radio Silence" as a song off their new album, performing it mid-set, but emphasized hits from 1977's "Grand Illusion", calling into memory their previous visit to Duluth 40 years ago when they toured behind this album. They even called out filming a PSA for the Duluth Transit Authority back in the day encouraging people to ride the bus. Sidenote: If anyone has a copy of it, we'd love to see it! Shoot us a message under the Feedback menu.
Styx opened their set with "Blue Collar Man", climbing down the stairways framing in the stage as they kicked off their performance. The show called on hits from "Grand Illusion" including the album's title track, "Fooling Yourself", a rousing and energetic "Miss America", and crowd favorite "Come Sail Away". While the group made a few jokes and references to being a lot older than they were back in the day, the group still rocked the house. Vocally and instrumentally they whole group sounded on point.
We've all been to a classic rock show where the artists lived a little too hard, and it shows on stage. For a group where almost everyone is in their 60s, the energy level was high, the sound was great, and the stage presence was strong. All around, Duluth got the opportunity to enjoy a great Wednesday night out with three acts that brought their game to AMSOIL.