Everything old is new again in a tour pairing rock legends Styx and REO Spee dwagon, along with a special guest
by JON DOMENICK • Photo by Rick Diamond
The aptly named United We Rock U.S. Summer Tour, featuring Styx and REO Speedwagon, took on even weightier meaning with the announcement that Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles, would be joining. Announced in February, the tour has two stops in New Jersey—Saturday, August 12 at the Borgata in Atlantic City, followed by a Tuesday, August 22 appearance at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.
Last January, Styx and Felder appeared together in Las Vegas for a five-night limited engagement at the Venetian. On a Rock Legends Cruise shortly thereafter, Felder invited REO Speedwagon’s Dave Amato up for a rousing performance of the Eagles’ “Hotel California.” The reception was so positive that the rockers decided to take the show on the road in a tour produced by Live Nation. As of May, the Holmdel appearance was scheduled to be its final performance.
“I called [Styx vocalist/guitar player] Tommy Shaw last summer, and we were both thinking the same thing: ‘Let’s get the boys together, make some music, and have some fun,’” said REO’s singer/guitar and keyboard player Kevin Cronin. “REO Speedwagon and Styx together is a headfirst plunge into the fountain of youth, an unstoppable force of nature. Add the amazing Don Felder and it’s a thundering slam dunk.”
The two bands have a long touring and recording history together. In 2000, they recorded the live album and DVD, Arch Allies: Live at Riverport, at Riverport Amphitheatre in Missouri. In 2009, the bands embarked on the Can’t Stop Rockin’ Tour, which produced a single co-written by Shaw and Cronin. In 2012 and 2013, they hit the road again with the wildly successful The Midwest Rock ‘n Roll Express tour.
“I’m so excited to be spending the summer on tour with my good friends Styx and REO,” Felder said. “It’s going to be a blast.” (Felder played with The Eagles on and off beginning in 1974 and is best known for his guitar solo with Joe Walsh on the classic track “Hotel California.”)
REO Speedwagon had its beginnings in 1968 on the University of Illinois campus, taking its name from an Oldsmobile flatbed truck named for automotive industry pioneer and brand owner Ransom E. Olds. Their megahits include “Say you Love me or Say Goodbye,” “Take it on the Run,” “Roll with the Changes,” “Can’t Fight this Feeling,” and “Keep on Lovin’ You.”
Formed in Chicago in 1972, Styx topped the charts with such classics as “Lady,” “Fooling Yourself,” “Come Sail Away,” and “Mr. Roboto.”
PNC Bank Arts Center
Exit 116 & Garden State Parkway, Holmdel
732.203.2500 / pncbank.center / livenation.com