by Ruben Morales
A killer lineup at a cool venue. What more can you ask for on a Friday summer night? On this particular evening at GERMANIA INSURANCE AMPHITHEATER in Austin, Texas, there were some of the most iconic bands of the 70s and 80s for The Live & UnZoomed Tour! Unfortunately, at the last minute, Loverboy wasn’t able to perform, so AUSTIN’s own Aj Vallejo and Kelly Green stepped in- so cool. They did a great job filling in, and were greeted with an awesome reception by the hometown crowd.
Soon after, the crowd started building in anticipation for REO SPEEDWAGON! The record heat in Texas didn’t stop the crowds from coming in to see these legends and a chance to escape to an easier time in our lives. Without hesitation, the band took the stage with MUSIC MAN, warming them up for one of the fan favorites (Take It on the Run). Now, the Austin crowd was in full sing-along mode for the rest of the night. The lead singer Kevin Cronin greeted the crowd and thanked AJ, AND KELLY for stepping in to open the evening. With hit after hit REO SPEEDWAGON kept the energy up and the crowd engaged.
Besides the original founding member since 1967, NEAL DOUGHTY (keyboards), these band members have been together since 1989. (BRUCE HALL (bass) DAVE AMATO (lead guitar) and BRIAN HITT (drums)).
Reo Speedwagon closed out the night with a LOVERBOY COVER (WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND) and KEVIN CRONIN mentioned to the crowd they had learned it earlier that day!
Next up, STYX! With the sun set and the temperature dropped and the amphitheater packed, the only light reflected was from a sea of cellphones. Had this been the 80s it would have been bic lighters.
STYX brought on a stylish set and lights that woke the night sky and they opened with THE FIGHT OF OUR LIVES. One of their newest songs from the album CRASH OF THE CROWN (released in 2021). Followed by the classic BLUE COLLAR .
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The STYX LINEUP included LAWRENCE GOWAN (lead vocalist and keyboard), TOMMY SHAW (lead guitarist) , CHUCK PANOZZO(BASS), JAMES YOUNG (guitar), TODD SUCHERMAN(DRUMS), WILL VANKOVICH (guitar, newest member), and RICKY PHILLIPS (bass guitar).
LAWRENCE GOWAN led the way , rocking his STYX keyboard playing it with his hands behind his back as he faced the crowd! STYX was high energy all night long and the crowd reflected the energy dancing and singing along-noone showing their age.
TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS and COME SAIL AWAY had Austin rockin’ hard. They also covered “Rocket Man” (Elton John) and paid tribute to Loverboy with LOVIN EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
Just when you thought the night was over. STYX encored with MR.ROBOTO which was a classic hit and MTV staple in the 80s. They followed with a killer version of RENEGADE. The band thanked the Austin crowd , gathered together, and bowed a goodnight. What an amazing and nostalgic show that brought us back to good times and good vibes with 70s and 80s music.