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Doobies flying high at Thunder Valley Casino

The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers

The Doobie Brothers performed at Thunder Valley Casino Resort to a packed house Friday night.

For anyone out there who doesn’t know the Doobie Brothers, they are a rock group formed in the ’70s and were originally called Pud. Yes, Pud. One can only thank the heavens they decided to change their name to the Doobie Brothers. And yes, their name comes from that stuff referred to as pot. When smoked it’s also referred to as a joint, reefer, stick, roach, or a doobie.

More Doobie Brother photos

Pat Simmons

Pat Simmons

 

Opening with “Jesus is Just Alright,” the eight man band consisting of two drummers, three guitarists, bassist, saxophonist, and keyboardist, kicked it into high gear from the very start. During their performance there were a lot of guitar changes, sometimes several per song. The guitars included four that were set up on their own stands waiting for those magical fingers of Tom Johnston (guitar, vocals), Pat Simmons (guitar vocals), John McFee (guitar, stings, vocals), and John Cowan (bass/vocals).

Tom Johnston

Tom Johnston

Other band members included Guy Allison (keyboard/vocals), Tony Pia (Drums), Marc Russo (sax), and Ed Toth (drums), with special guest Danny Hull.

As the sun made its way down, all the phones and cameras in the crowd were reminiscent of those late-night concerts with everyone holding up their lighters, paying homage to the band. The band got plenty of coverage with all those lights shining in the night.

John McFee

John McFee

The first few songs had the crowd on their feet cheering and singing along, as the band hit their stride, the crowd became a bit more subdued with many settling back down in their seats.

The band played a couple of songs off their 2010 album ‘World Gone Crazy,’ including “Brighter Day” and “World Gone Crazy.” You can hear the bands maturity both emotionally and musically in the songs from ‘World Gone Crazy.’ It’s obvious the group is comfortable with who they are and where they are going.

John Cowan

John Cowan

Looking at the makeup of the audience, it was quite apparent that The Doobie Brothers transcend generations, as young and old turned out to listen to one of their favorite bands.

Once they started playing “Takin it to the Streets,” it was all over as the crowd jumped to their feet and never sat back down.

Playing a tremendous rendition of “Don’t Start Me Talkin,” the band called up longtime friend, sax player and local Lincoln resident, Danny Hull, who brought his harmonica to the party. Sax player Marc Russo and Hull, armed with his harp, battled it out throughout the song with fans cheering them on.

Danny Hull

Danny Hull

When the band started “Black Water,” the crowd immediately joined in. Everyone was singing, including bartenders, security personnel, and ushers.

To anyone who didn’t make it out to the concert and thought to themselves – not interested in listening to some old boring southern style rock band, you made a huge mistake. Don’t make the same mistake next time.

It’s refreshing to see a band that has toured together for all these years and remain well grounded in who they are and still truly appreciate their fans. And to watch them onstage still having fun and engaging the audience is simply priceless.

Earlier this year tragedy struck the band as one of the founding members, drummer Michael Hossack, died. Remaining founding members include Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons with 30 year-plus veteran John McFee. The Doobies have sold over 30 million albums and continue to tour bringing their high energy performance to as many people as possible.The Doobie Brother

Read: Longtime drummer for Doobie Brothers dies

This Sunday the AAA four diamond rated Thunder Valley Casino brings back their ever popular H2O pool party and with the Summer Concert Series just getting under way, you can expect even more fun filled concerts as they bring you comedian Kathy Griffin, rocker Sammy Hagar, ESPN Friday Night Fights, and so much more.

Read: Sacramento summer concerts

Photo credits: Randy Miramontez

New acts added to TVCR’s 2013 Summer Concert Series

Tesla

In a press release today Thunder Valley Casino Resort announced several new acts for their upcoming Summer Concert Series for 2013 and it appears this is going to be a great series.

Thunder Valley will welcome back several popular artists like Huey Lewis and the News, Peter Frampton and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

This Summer Concert Series will include the ‘Under the Sun’ tour featuring Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Vertical Horizon & Fastball. Look for tickets for this show to sell out early.

This year joining the legendary Peter Frampton in his ‘Guitar Circus’ tour will be the equally legendary B.B. King. Another show you won’t want to miss.

“We are thrilled to add these big name entertainers to our fourth annual Summer Concert Series lineup,” said Dawn Clayton, Acting General Manager of Thunder Valley Casino Resort. “Our outdoor amphitheater is second to none in the region and as always, we will have a very well-rounded series of big name entertainers.”

Check back here for the latest updates!

Frankie Vallie and The Four Season Saturday, June 1
Pat Benatar w/Neil Geraldo and Cheap Trick Friday, June 7
Super Summer Soul Jam click for full line up Saturday, June 8
Doobie Brothers Friday, June 14
Jeff Dunham Friday, June 21
Lynyrd Skynrd Saturday, June 22
Under the Sun w/Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray and more Friday, July 12
Huey Lewis & the News Saturday, July 13
Larry Hernandez Saturday, July 20
Chicago Saturday, Aug 3
Gladys Knight and The O’Jays Friday, Aug 9
Bill Engvall Saturday, Aug 10
Chris Isaak Friday, Aug 16
Frampton’s Guitar Circus w/ B.B. King Friday, Aug 30
Beach Boys Friday, Sept 6
Heart Saturday, Sept 22
Bad Company Friday, Sept 27

boxofficetickets
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 15 for Thunder Club Members at the casino. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Saturday, March 16 and can be purchased online at http://thundervalleyresort.com/entertainment  or at the Thunder Valley Ticket Sales Office between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Thunder Valley announces Summer Concert Series

Thunder Valley Casino announces 2013 Summer Concert Series

Tesla

Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame

C.J. Graham General Manager
Photo: Randy Miramontez

General Manager of Thunder Valley Casino Resort, C.J. Graham, announced at a recent press conference the first acts of its much anticipated Summer Concert Series.

“We are thrilled to announce the first round of acts for our fourth annual summer concert series at Thunder Valley,” said Graham, “Our outdoor amphitheater is second to none in the region and as always, we will have a very well-rounded series of big name entertainers.”

Graham added that the amphitheater will be expanded to include 4,800 seats, taking two months to build. He also confirmed that their wildly popular H20 pool party on Sundays will be back and better than ever.

The Doobie Brothers Photo: Randy Miramontez Click for more images

The Doobie Brothers
Photo: Randy Miramontez
Click for more images

 

 

UPDATED February 21, 2013 – in bold

The first acts announced are:

Frankie Vallie and The Four Season Saturday, June 1
Pat Benatar w/Neil Geraldo and Cheap Trick Friday, June 7
Super Summer Soul Jam click for full line up Saturday, June 8
Doobie Brothers Friday, June 14
Jeff Dunham Friday, June 21
Chicago Saturday, August 3
Bill Engvall Saturday, August 10

 

Thunder Valley Club Members will have the exclusive chance to purchase tickets on-site at Thunder Valley on Feb. 8. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Saturday, Feb. 9.

This year Thunder Valley is introducing a “comprehensive” season pass, with Friday, or Saturday night concert passes, these will be available for purchase on Feb. 8.

You can visit Thunder Valley Casino’s website for a complete list of upcoming shows.

We will continually update this page, so check back for future shows coming to Thunder Valley this summer.

 

Super Summer Soul Jam W/ Cameo, Original Lakeside And More

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy roars into Thunder Valley

Scotty Morris - Click for more images

Scotty Morris – Click for more images

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy brought the roaring twenties and swing revival to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday, as the casino continues their countdown to 2013.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has been bringing the big band era music to the masses for over 20 years. Their music takes the listener back to the days of old, when gangsters weren’t quite as scary, and a flapper was a young and trending woman, not something found in a toilet. Some say those were the good ‘ole days.

Mixing their roaring twenties attitude and big horns, the band of all things swing, fuses together some of the most prolific sounds of swing, jazz and contemporary classics to create an original and exciting array of sounds that put the likes of Cab Calloway to shame, well almost. Nobody can put Calloway to shame.

Gotta love them horns!

Gotta love them horns!

Kicking off their set with “Come On With The ‘Come On’” and “Calloway Boogie,” they had the audience dancing in their seats from the start. That was a bit strange, because at most concerts fans would be standing up in the front row dancing. Apparently this was a more subdued and polite crowd.

Thunder Valley missed out on an opportunity to provide a dance floor for the many fans wanting to get up and boogie. While a number of people were dancing off to the side, the carpet just didn’t cut it.

Still in holiday mode, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy went on to play a few of their songs from their Christmas album including “Merry Christmas Baby” and “Mr. Heatmeiser.”

Andy Rowley (L) and Karl Hunter

Andy Rowley (L) and Karl Hunter

 

As the band started up with Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher,” lead singer Scotty Morris led the crowd through the ho-dee ho-dee ho’s and the Hi-dee hi-dee hi’s. During the song the audience jumped in at the appropriate times as well.

This was an extremely fun concert with a high energy band. While some people may never give Big Bad Voodoo Daddy a listen due to their roaring twenties label and swing sound, others are quickly realizing that this is a band that has a sound all its own, with some very catchy tunes.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Click for more images

Band members include Scotty Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Kurt Sodergren (drums and percussion), Dirk Shumaker (double bass and vocals), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet), Joshua Levy (piano and arranger), Anthony Bonsera Jr. (lead trumpet) and Alex Henderson (trombone).

You can catch these dapper fellows on The Tonight Show on Jan. 9, where they will perform “Why Me?”
Set-list
Come On With The “Come On”
Calloway Boogie
Merry Christmas Baby
Mr. Heatmeiser
Mr. Pinstripe Suit
Hey Now
The Reefer Man
Minnie the Moocher
Diga Diga Do
Devil’s Dance
5-10-15 Times
We Three Kings
Zig Zaggity Woop Woop
You and Me & The Bottle Makes 3
I Wan’na Be Like You
Go Daddy O

Encore
Why Me?
So Long Farewell-Goodbye

 

Officer Needs Assistance at Thunder Valley Casino

 

Chris Gardner Band – Click for more images

The Placer County 10-35 Foundation’s Thunder in November charity drive took over Thunder Valley Casino’s Pano Hall on Saturday as the Chris Gardner Band, Road 88 and special guest Jeff Keith performed to a charitable crowd.

Jim Hudson with Placer County 10-35 Foundation

The Placer County 10-35 Foundation was created in 2011 as a non-profit charity designed to assist the men & women of Placer County law enforcement. The Foundation is a fraternal & benevolent association chartered to assist Placer County peace officers in times of great personal and organizational tragedy.

10-35 is part of law enforcement’s 10-code which means officer needs assistance.

Road 88 opened the show with lead singer Rachel Steele belting out Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” and Emmylou Harris’ “One More Bottle of Wine.”

Road 88 – Click for more images

Joining founding members Rachel Steele (vocals) and Scott Prentice (guitar/vocals) were Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Todd Prout (bass), Paul Southerland (lap/pedal steel, dobro) and Maggie Keith (backup vocals).

Road 88 was flawless in their delivery as one would expect from a band that was voted #1 in the Best Local Band category for the second year in a row on KCRA’s A-List.

Towards the end of their set Steele brought Tesla’s lead singer Jeff Keith on stage to sing a country song.

 

What!?

Jeff Keith goes to the dark side

Yes pardner you heard right! Jeff Keith comes strutting out looking cuter than a junebug in a jumpsuit, donning, of all things, a cowboy hat. Y’all wouldn’t have believe it.

After some wild applause and a collective gasp from the audience, Keith went on to explain that he was still with Tesla and all was good with the band, but he was pursuing a lifelong dream of singing country music. His new CD Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is due out on November 9th, featuring Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band.

With his best country voice, Keith went on to sing George Jones’ “Grand Tour,” as the crowd cheered him on.

As one would have expected, Keith’s chops were flawless and, surprisingly, he sounded like a genuine country star. Who’d have thunk it!

Scott Prentice and Jeff Keith – Click for more images

Stay tuned for a complete review of his new album.

In between sets Jim Hudson with the Placer County 10-35 foundation announced the winners of their silent auction for an autographed guitar signed by REO Speedwagon (Katie was the winner), and an autographed guitar signed by Road 88 and Jeff Keith(Diana was the winner). Katie insisted that she get a picture after the show with Chris Gardner and her newly acquired guitar.

The Chris Gardner Band kicked their set off with Alabama’s “Mountain Music” and Luke Bryan’s “Rain is a Good Thing,” as droves of people made their way to the dance floor.

Lead singer Chris Gardner was joined by Dwight Hogan (bass), Aaron Shively (lead guitar), Joey Gonzales (drums), Nikko Vargas (rhythm guitar), and Shawn Holiday (keyboard).

While Road 88 had a solid set, the Chris Gardner Band was able to pack the dance floor as they continued playing  “Something Like That” and “Dixieland Delight.”

This was a fun and successful event. Expect to see Thunder in November II next year!

For more information on Placer County 10-35 please visit them at http://www.placer1035foundation.org

Y’all don’t forget to checkout Jeff Keith’s alter ego at Jeff Keith Country!

 

Outlaws Take Over Thunder Valley

The Outlaws

Southern rock band The Outlaws performed in Thunder Valley Casino Resort’sPano Hall on Friday.

The Outlaws formed in 1967 and have been playing off and on since that time.

Founding members Henry Paul (lead singer/guitar) and Monte Yoho (drums), were joined by Chris Anderson (guitar), Randy Threet (bass), Dave Robbins (keyboards), and Bill Crain (guitar).

Kicking off their set with “Tomorrow’s Another Night” and “Love Song” it was evident that most of the audience was made up of diehard fans as they started singing along with the band.

They played quite a few new songs from their latest album It’s About Pride.From my past experience when older bands start playing their newer “stuff”, they tend to lose the audience, but that was not the case. Their fans remained engaged throughout their set with most of them on their feet.

The Outlaws

There was a problem with Crain’s amp when halfway through “Love Song” his guitar shutdown. After several frantic minutes of changing out the amp, he was able to resume once they started “Hurry Sundown”, one of their newer songs.

Checkout Thunder Valley Casino’s upcoming winter concert schedule!

Setlist:
Tomorrow’s Another Night
Love Song
Hurry Sundown
Hidin’ Out in Tennessee (new)
Freeborn Man
Born to Be Bad (new)
Grey Ghost
Main Street
Gunsmoke
Last Ghost Town (new)
Right Where I Belong (new)
Waterhole
Knoxville Girl
It’s bout Pride (new)
Trail of Tears (new)
Green Grass

Encore
Ghost Riders

 

Singing with Dummies

Terry Fator – Click for more images

America’s Got Talent winner Terry Fator and his cast of wooden characters took the stage Saturday night at Thunder Valley Casino Resort, complete with backing band and one mighty fine assistant.

Terry Fator is a ventriloquist with a twist, actually a couple of twists. Not only can the 47 year old command all things wooden, but he also has a knack for singing, and not just any singing, he can impersonate damn near any singer out there. From Dolly Parton to Lou Rawls he can belt it out just like the real thing.

Winston as the Phantom – Click for more images

Prior to the show the crowd was entertained by DJ Ben Harris and his exceptional dance moves. As he played a medley of songs, Harris was dancing from one end of the stage to the other.

Fator came out singing “Feeling Good,” to start the show as the mostly older crowd was clapping and cheering. Following up with “Phantom of the Opera,” Fator brought out Winston complete with his own phantom mask.

Winston called to Christine (the mighty fine assistant) saying he was her angel of music. That was up until she took his mask off and she ran off stage screaming.

Christine (the mighty fine nurse), Walter and Fator

As he continued, Winston informed him that he was auditioning for the Phantom of the Opera. Winston said he was qualified since he did win America’s Got Talent for Fator.

Walter T. Airedale came out singing Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.” Walter told everyone that he was running for president and was being attacked because people were saying he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. When Fator asked him if he had a birth certificate he said he sure does, and that was when a Home Depot receipt was shown on the big screen. Right away Fator said “So I see you got brass balls.” To which Walter replied, “Every President should have a pair.”

Audience member Rob with Fator

Fator was on fire as he continued with Duggie Scott Walker (an annoying neighbor), Wrex (the crash test dummy), Julius (the soul singer), Emma Taylor, Maynard Thompkins (an Elvis Presley impersonator who doesn’t know any Elvis songs), and Vikki the Cougar (a perpetual 49 year old who likes younger men).

Wrex – Click for more images

There was a touching moment as Fator explained how a young boy, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Fator’s show. The young boy passed away several weeks after meeting Fator. Fator regretted not playing a song he wrote called “Horses in Heaven.” Management decided that the song would not play well in Vegas, but since the boys visit Fator has put it back into his show. After playing “Horses in Heaven,” he informed everyone that the proceeds of the song goes towards Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

At one point Fator singled out a married couple Addie and Rob asking Rob to come up onstage. Placing a mask over his face Fator turned him into a human puppet and starting committing to his wife that he hates sports, and she can take control of the remote.

Winston came back out onstage and they closed the show with an extremely well done rendition of “It’s a Wonderful World.”

This was a great show and I would definitely go out of my way to see him again.  Since Fator is often compared to Jeff Dunham I  have to say while Dunham can be hilarious, he tends to be pretty racial and at times crude, where Fator’s show was good clean fun. Now that’s not to say Fator’s show at the Mirage in Las Vegas is clean, I wouldn’t know,  but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

 

Jasmine’s in the air at the Fountains

Jasmine V – Click for more images

Jasmine Villegas, better known as Jasmine V. was at the Fountains at Rosevilleon Sunday in support of AT&T’s No Text On Board tour, as throngs of Jasminators (as her fans are known) turned out in support of their favorite pop singer.

The 18 year old Villegas is an up and coming R&B, pop singer and has made appearances in Justin Bieber’s music video for his hit single “Baby,” as well as the Kid’s Choice Awards. She’s also made a few appearances in Bieber’s most recent tour.

AT&T is using the No Text On Board Tour to get the word out about texting and driving. Their tagline is #itcanwait and you can take the pledge at itcanwait.org.

They can’t get the word out quick enough! I had several near misses on the way over to the fountains as people continue to text, use their phones, and do other idiotic things while driving. People, I’d like to get to where I’m going without having to perform numerous defensive maneuvers.

Jasmine’s brothers Jream Andrew and Justin

Since Villegas’ performance was scheduled at the last minute, the Fountains at Roseville, as well as local radio station 107.9 The End had very little time to get the word out. Not a lot of fans showed up, but the diehard fans who follow Villegas through social media were able to get the inside scoop as she tweeted;

“#SacramentoAreaJasminators my No Text On Board Tour sponsored by @ATT is coming to Fountains at Roseville Center 9/9 @2pm RT if u’re coming!?”

Jasminators greet their hero – Click for more images

As around 600 fans gathered around the stage Villegas’ older brother Jream Andrew was entertaining the crowd along with younger brother Justin, by asking the crowd questions about Jasmine such as;

“What was the title of Jasmine’s first music video?” – answer: “I Own This”

The first person to answer the questions correctly won a ticket to Paranorman, or a T-shirt compliments of The End.

Right away Villega’s invited a number of young ladies up onstage to dance to her hit “Werk.” She followed up with “Jealous,” as fans kept shouting out that they loved her.

Front row for these ladies – compliments of The End.

Villegas sang a song with her brother Jream and then Jream went solo with “Grillin.” There were a number of Jream fans with signs, as well as plenty of signs for Villega’s.

Villegas ended the set with “Just a Friend.” Afterward the fans were treated to a meet and greet.

It’s great that AT&T is sponsoring these types of events. Texting while driving is extremely irresponsible, selfish, and just downright stupid – so please don’t!

itcanwait!

 

 

Kooling Down at Sunrise MarketPlace

Kool and the Gang – Click for more images

Kool & the Gang, along with fellow R&B legends The Commodores, played to a very enthusiastic crowd of close to 2,000 fans Saturday night at Sunrise MarketPlace’s Sunrise at Night Concert Series.

This is the first year with an expanded venue at Sunrise MarketPlace, and my first time visiting. It was spacious with beer, wine, and Margaritas available along with various food choices such as hotdogs. Depending on where you were seated, you could be lazy and have a waiter/waitress get your drinks.

I found the sound lacking on the side bleachers, but still pretty loud. If you’re one of those purists who must have their sound just right, then you may want to get your tickets for the center area.

There really isn’t a bad seat in the house with a great view from pretty much any seat in the amphitheater. There are a few seats around the spotlights that may feel “cramped” if you are sitting right next to the platform, but that area is general admission and you can sit where you want – so don’t sit next to the lights, unless you think that’s Kool.

Sunrise at Night Concert Series

Many amphitheaters have monitors, or big projector screens for the cheap seats, but with such a small footprint fans didn’t have a problem seeing the action onstage.

Ok enough about the venue and on to the action, and there was plenty of action, with the exception of an overly long set-change.

Just prior to the concert someone came up to me and said he almost didn’t come out to the concert after he found out that Lionel Richie was no longer with The Commodores. Seriously!? Where have you been for the last 30 years!? Richie is gone people, get over it.

The Commodores stormed the stage playing “Too Hot Ta Trot,” followed by “Easy” with most fans on their feet and singing along. As for the great seating, that all goes down the proverbial crapper when everyone in front of you stands up to boogie down.

The Commodores – Click for more images

The three front men for The Commodores put on a high energy show and were in constant motion their entire set. They were founding members Walter Orange, William King, and longtime member J.D. Nicholas.

They headed into their encore with “Brick House,” but deviated in the middle with a bit of audience participation as they were simply jamming and yelling out to the audience with phrases such as “Say Yo Yo,” leading back into, and finishing off the set with, “Brick House.”

Walter Orange was kicking himself after their set. He told me he just wasn’t “feeling it” during his performance. Orange said it doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, it really bothers him because he believes he can bring it up to a whole other level.

The set-change went way too long. According to my calculations, it took over 45 minutes, which is not a good thing for the fans, as some headed towards the door.

Walter Orange – Off night? No way!

Making a very Kool entrance Kool & the Gang, all dressed in white, came out singing “Fresh,” followed by “Tonight.” The crowd was pretty enthusiastic, but appeared to have more energy during The Commodores set. I attribute that to the lengthy intermission.

As they slowed it down with “Joanna” and “Too Hot,” most of the fans were singing the chorus along with the band. However, during the slower moments you could see a number of fans heading towards the door.

Kool & the Gang didn’t really hit their stride until late into their set. The vocals were lacking in the beginning songs, but seemed to smooth out as the night went on.

They really shined with “Get Down on It” leading into their finale with “Celebration,” which had the remaining crowd on their feet dancing and singing.

Kool & the Gangs Lavell Evans

It was a great concert, but whenever you have 30 minutes, or longer, for a set-change you’re going to lose some people. In this case Kool & the Gang wasn’t able to reenergize a number of their fans. I believe that impacted their performance, since bands and fans alike feed off each other’s energy.

As for the Sunrise at Night Concert Series – What can I say? It’s a nice little venue with an intimate feel and free parking, but more importantly they serve food and have a limited selection of alcohol, just be careful driving home!

Don’t miss Blondie and Devo as they bring their Whip it to Shreds tour to the Sunrise MarketPlace on Friday September 14th.

Thunder Valley Styx it!

Styx – Click for more images

As Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Summer Concert Series heads into its final stretch, it’s only fitting to have one of the most popular traveling bands of the 80’s lead off the last month of the series.

Styx, like most of their fans, has gone through a number of changes throughout their existence. Most notably was the death of founding member John Panozzo in 1996, followed by the departure of founding member Dennis DeYoung in 1999.

Much like their fans, Styx consists of young and old including founding members Chuck Panozzo (bass) and James “J.Y.” Young (vocals, lead/rhythm guitar). Longtime member Tommy Shaw (vocals, lead/rhythm guitar), and the latest members Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums), Ricky Phillips (bass).

Due to health issues Chuck Panozzo only occasionally plays with the band. We were lucky enough to have him come out and play a few songs towards the end of the night.

Lawrence Gowan on his spinning music machine

While not quite a sellout crowd it was still pretty packed, especially for a Thursday night. Let’s face it, anyone who’s a fan of Styx from the 80’s is getting along in years, and may find it difficult to get out on a Thursday night, and then turnaround to schlep off to work the next day. The worst part is, at some point we became responsible, gone are the days of calling in sick the next day. What’s up with that?

As Styx kicked off the show with “Blue Collar Man” and Grand Illusion,” the mostly older crowd was on their feet and cheering.

Styx was firing on all cylinders as they continued with “Too Much Time” and “Lady” as most of the crowd started to settle down in their seats. The front rows remained on their feet the entire show. Not sure how the old geezers did it, must have been a miracle drug from the 70’s or 80’s – I’m just saying.

Tommy Shaw and Ricky Phillips

Everyone’s vocals were crystal as they went from one hit to another. In particular were Shaw and Gowan. Gowan really stole the show with his vocals and his antics on his famous spinning keyboard, as he twirled in circles jumping onto, and off of, his keyboard throughout the night’s performance.

It was a very high energy, and highly entertaining, show as the veterans weaved their way through their numerous hits from the 70’s and 80’s.

The highlight for me was when Gowan came out performing solo on his spinning keyboard. He played a melody of songs including Elton John’s “Pinball Wizard,” the Eurhythmics “Sweet Dreams,” and then Gowan would shout a part of a song, point to the audience for them to finish the verse, and they did, on command. As he started to sing “Come Sail Away,” the audience sang their part and then he started playing the song on the keyboard with the band jumping in at the middle of the song. That’s about the time Panozzo joined the band onstage playing bass.

For their encore they blew the crowd away with “Rockin the Paradise” and “Renegade.”

These guys are pure entertainers and a great bunch of guys as some of them stayed behind to sign album covers that fans had brought to the show.

For all of those that haven’t gotten off of their sorry old ass to see Styx, I would highly suggest you do it before you get any friggin older. The last thing you want to do is make your way to your seat – in a walker!

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