Written by Dave Clements

styx (52 of 197)The UNITED WE ROCK summer tour hit The Woodlands Pavilion this past Saturday night with a near sold out audience in attendance. That was the good news.  The bad news was that it was damn hot and humid with an off the chart heat index!  However, more good news is the three band that hit the stage, one after the other, were well worth the sizzling conditions the crowd had to endure for way beyond three hours.

At seven o’clock sharp former Eagles member Don Felder hit the stage, hands up in the air, guitar strapped on, ready to get the rock rockin’… and he did. I had never seen Felder before but of course was well familiar with his former bandmates and their music. Within 30 seconds I got the Eagles connection and for the next 45 minutes it was all Eagles.

He started with Already Gone and ended with Hotel California – and then let’s throw in One of These Nights, Witchy Woman, The Long Run, Take It Easy, Heartache Tonight, and Life In The Fast Lane. Also in the mix was a pleasant surprise, a lesser known Eagles song and personal favorite Seven Bridges Road. This song was written by celebrated songwriter Mr. Steve Young, who we unfortunately lost this past year.  (Steve’s son Jubal Lee Young carries on the legacy and is currently out there on stages across the country –  check him out.)

And before moving on to Styx allow me three more Eagles comments:

One, Glenn Frey… may he rest in peace.

Two, Vince Gill, touring with the Eagles, along with Glenn’s son…wow, how cool is that!

Three, Timothy B Schmit at Dosey Doe for two shows later this year. Check it out at www.DoseyDoe.com

styx (96 of 197)Styx, was the Co-headliner this night and they took the stage before REO. Surprised me a little but my take on both bands is they are a headliners of classic rock status. You can always expect a terrific show for either or both and, as always, they both delivered. Styx played the best of their catalog plus a couple of cuts off their new album titled The Mission.   I liked both Fooling Yourself and Too Much Time on My Hands, but do wish they’d found a spot for Mr. Roboto.

And before moving on to REO Speedwagon, two others comments about Styx:  Keyboardist/Vocalist Lawrence Gowan was on overdrive the entire set. What a high energy guy and so very talented.  He was around the stage at the speed of light.  What he brought to this Houston area crowd was so impressive!  You don’t often get to see that level of constant positive energy unless you are watching Mick.

And my last comment, sadly, is an example of clearly NEGATIVE energy.   The tour stage uppity-ups for this night’s performance chewed out a friend of mine who is a MAJOR music lover for having a DVD visible he’d hoped to get autographed.   This (expletive deleted) jerk said, upon spying the DVD, ‘don’t  you even think about trying to get an autograph from these guys’.  My question?  Why not?  That’s one of the reasons you spend big bucks to buy a front row seat.  Since the beginning of Rock and Roll, fans have been trying to get their favorite bands’ autographs…it’s in the DNA of us Rock fans.  I hope someone with the tour reads this and asks me who my friend is so they can send him an apology for having to experience such an unnecessarily classless human being.

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On a much happier note, REO Speedwagon came out with BIG ENERGY, BIG SOUND and terrific lighting. All that combined with lead vocalist Kevin Cronin obviously on his A Game was very appealing, an obvious crowd pleaser.  The guy evidently couldn’t fight this feeling, he took it on the run, he rolled with the changes, and just kept pushin’ all night long.  (Sorry for the corn.  My father-in-law is from Iowa!)

All and all I’m not sure how these bands could have given their fans a better value for the money unless of course they had rented the world’s largest air conditioned tent and put it over the pavilion. Nah, Rock and Roll sounds so much better when you are hot and sweaty!


Until next time remember there is no time to kill,