Styx and REO Speedwagon at Laughlin Event Center – Live Review
Styx and REO Speedwagon, Laughlin Event Center, Laughlin, NV, September 30, 2023
First up tonight was Styx, who began decades earlier in 1972 and currently consists of guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw, guitarist/vocalist James Young, keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan, drummer Todd Sucherman, bassist Ricky Phillips and guitarist Will Evankovich. The mainstay of any Styx show has always been their musicianship and tonight were no exception.
Styx culled many of the night’s songs from their decades of gold and platinum releases. Focusing on those tunes for the bulk of the show, the audience responded to the well-known songs expectingly. Songs like The Grand Illusion, Too Much Time on My Hands, Miss America, Blue Collar Man and Rockin’ the Paradise had people up on their feet singing and clapping along.
The night ended with a stunning rendition of Come Sail Away, as the crowd stood up and sang along to the lyrics. They walked off the stage for a short break before the crowd enticed the legends back on stage one more time. The evening ended with a spot-on rendition of Mr. Roboto and Renegade, two fantastic classics.
Next up this evening was Classic Rockers REO Speedwagon. Kevin Cronin and Bruce Hall lead the way as REO still rocks the house like they’ve been doing since the 1970’s. They just come out and hit it hard, laying down classic tracks, the band sounded great. Along with guitarist Dave Amato and drummer Bryan Hitt the current line-up has been performing together since 1989. Neal Doughty who earlier this year retired from touring with the band was replaced by (ex-Iron Butterfly) Keyboardist Derek Hilland.
The crowd sang along the most with REO Speedwagon’s signature power ballads like Roll with the Changes, Take It on The Run, Can’t Fight This Feeling, and Time for Me To Fly. Although their set may have been dominated by a few slower tracks, there was no shortage of energy from either the band or the crowd.
The highlight for me was hearing the classic 70’s hits Back on the Road Again and Ridin’ the Storm Out.
This event was outstanding. The fabulous concert made for a very entertaining and enjoyable evening. It is amazing to see classic bands put on great performances and give the audience a show to remember.
(Review and Photos by Joe Schaeffer)