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Still having what it takes

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Still having what it takes edge photo by Mike Fern
Styx, REO bring back the classics 

BANGOR The Midwest Rock'N'Roll Express Tour came to Bangor's Waterfront Pavilion Sunday to play the last date of a tour that RollingStone Magazine called one of the hottest for Summer 2012.

Ready to rock and shock, Ted Nugent and his band of heavy-hitting talent, Derek St. Holmes, Greg Smith, and "Wild" Mick Brown, started the night playing full throttle from the get-go.

The nine-song set list covered classics "Wango Tango" and "Cat Scratch Fever" as well as a great blues/Motown treat with REO's Dave Amato. After the band wrapped up with "Stranglehold," a fellow attendee announced, "I didn't know I was a Ted Nugent fan. That was incredible!"

And yes, it was.

Styx opened with "Blue Collar Man," the first in a long list of the night's iconic keyboard lead-ins. Performing favorites as far back as "Lorelei," their high energy kept fans on their feet. Tommy Shaw and James 'JY' Young continually engaged the crowd and it was thrilling to watch them perform. Keyboardist Lawrence Gowan's showmanship provided highlight moments.

Styx was joined by founding member Chuck Panozzo for much of the show. Notably, Bangor fans had a special treat when Ted Nugent joined Styx with his tiger-striped guitar to perform "Coming of Age," a Damn Yankees hit he shares with Tommy Shaw.

Wrapping up with "Renegade," Styx could have just stayed on stage and played it all again the fans would have let them.

In ending the night, REO Speedwagon's front man Kevin Cronin was as solid as ever during the band's 12-song set. With heavy guitars, Neal Doughty's signature keyboards, and Bryan Hitt's ceaseless assault on the drum kit, REO covered the hits from the album "Hi Infidelity," as well as older tunes before closing the night with the classic, 'Ridin' the Storm Out.'

Classic rock 'n' roll is alive and doing well.

Last modified on Thursday, 12 July 2012 10:12

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