When it was announced way back in February that Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder were going to team up for a huge summer tour it was quite staggering to see the amassed sales total of their music catalogs. Styx and Foreigner certainly are no strangers to each other as they have toured in the past, but by adding an amazing talent like Don Felder, the former Eagle to the bill was the icing on the cake.
Felder started off the night as he has all tour since it started way back in May. A pair of Eagles classics “Already Gone” and “One Of These Nights” was a great way to begin the evening. From there Felder played “You Don’t Have Me” from his most current release Road To Forever.
Felder has assembled a very capable band that also did a great job with background vocals as evidenced on “Seven Bridges Road”. Notable member keyboardist Timothy Drury’s resume’ consists of having played with The Eagles alongside Felder during the Hell Freezes Over Tour as well as being known for his time playing with high profile band Whitesnake.
Felder set closed out with the big songs “Heartache Tonight”, “Life In The Fast Lane” and the song that to this day remains one of the greatest of all-time “Hotel California”. As an added bonus Styx vocalist-guitarist Tommy Shaw and drummer Todd Sucherman came out to play on “Hotel California” as Felder’s set came to an end.
Up next was Styx. This band really knows how to freshen up their set by mixing songs in and out while sprinkling in what always seems to be just the right song. This night was no exception as they delivered a gem of a show during their allotted seventy-five minutes.
While guitarist James “J.Y.” Young may be the only remaining original member and Shaw the only other left from the bands platinum dominating era, (1977-83) the other members of the cast are far from slouches. Bassist Ricky Phillips (Baby’s, Bad English), drummer Todd Sucherman and vocalist-keyboardist Lawrence Gowan all add the elements needed to keep on putting what some call the best live performances the band has ever done.
Highlights included “Light Up” a song the band has now played regularly the past year or so after a long seclusion. Judging from the crowd response it appears it won’t be going away anytime soon. Shaw’s stellar “Crystal Ball” and “Superstars” the latter another song rarely played much by the band until more recently also were performed.
Of course the hits were all there too as the band ripped through “Too Much Time On My Hands”, “Fooling Yourself” and “Lady”. Everyone received another bonus when Don Felder came out to jam with the band on “Blue Collar Man”.
Encoring with “Rockin’ The Paradise” and closer “Renegade” concluded the satisfying set and only left the fans wanting more.
Foreigner had the honor of closing out the show as they took to the stage with “Double Vision”. Foreigner has a long history with nearby Rochester, NY as original singer Lou Gramm hails from there and still lives there to this day.
The band played four songs and it wasn’t until “Feels Like The First Time” in which leader and guitarist Mick Jones finally appeared on stage. Jones missed some time over the past few years due to health problems. It appears the doctor wanted him to cut down on his stage time to keep him fresh so he can finish the tour. At 69, Jones can still play as demonstrated on “Juke Box Hero” and “Starrider” the latter which Jones sang the lead vocals as well.
Singer Kelly Hansen introduced the Canandaigua Academy Choir as they joined the band during “I Want To Know What Love Is” as he asked the audience to also join in on the bands number one hit from Agent Provacateur.
The Soundtrack of Summer tour lived up to its billing as the hits were plentiful and they even managed to muster up a few rare tunes for those fans who like the deeper end of the band’s catalogs. Several Rochester dignitaries were in the house including famed grocer Danny Wegman. About the only thing to make the night better would have been an appearance from Gramm. Had he shown up to sing a song with his old bandmate it would have brought the house down, but it was not to be.
Cold as Ice
Waiting for a Girl Like You
Feels Like the First Time
Juke Box Hero
I Want to Know What Love Is
The Grand Illusion
Too Much Time on My Hands
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
Gowan Medley: You Can’t Always Get What You Want / Light My Fire / Bohemian Rhapsody
Come Sail Away
Rockin’ the Paradise
Already Gone (Eagles cover)
One of These Nights (Eagles cover)
You Don’t Have Me
Victim of Love (Eagles cover)
Seven Bridges Road (Eagles cover)
Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride)
Witchy Woman (Eagles cover)
Heartache Tonight (Eagles cover)
Life in the Fast Lane (Eagles cover)
Hotel California (Eagles Cover)
Special thanks to Amanda Cagan and Lynn Freida for all their help.