Concert and Entertainment

ticketmasterGrandstand

REO/STYX/HEAD EAST

Saturday, August 10 th, 8:00 p.m., Grandstand
$40, $30, $30, $25, $20

REO pic

Music Samples:
Take It On The Run
Can't Fight This Feeling
Keep On Loving You
Roll With The Changes
Time For Me To Fly

Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by iconic vocalist Kevin Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon is a band where the main constant over the decades is a never-ending desire to give their all to their fans, year in and year out.

Formed loosely in the late '60s at college in Champaign, IL, REO (named after the precursor to the light truck) rode to gigs in station wagons, hopping from small gigs to even tinier gigs, just to get their name out. It worked, as fans quickly realized there was much more going on here than your average college party band.

By the early '70s, the band's unrelenting drive, as well as non-stop touring and recording, jump-started the burgeoning rock movement in the Midwest. It carved a path that was eventually followed by STYX, Kansas, Cheap Trick and more. Platinum albums and freeform FM radio staples such as "Ridin' The Storm Out" followed, setting the stage for 1980's explosive Hi Infidelity. REO rode the top of the charts with a RIAA-certified 22 million albums sold in the U.S. and 40 million around the globe, with a string of gold and platinum records and international hit singles.

 

Styx
Music Samples:
Renegade
Come Sail Away
To Much Time On My Hands
Lorelei
Blue Collar Man
STYX - Tommy Shaw, James "JY" Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips (along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo), have performed more live since '99 than all of the previous years of its career combined.  Two Super-Bowl appearances, Pollstar Box Office chart-topping tours with Def Leppard, Journey, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Bad Company (to name only a few), two more studio albums and no end in sight, STYX continues to conquer the planet, one venue at a time.

Spawned from a suburban Chicago basement in the early '70s, Styx would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late '70s and early '80s, due to a fondness for big rockers and soaring power ballads.

Early on, Styx's music reflected such then-current prog rockers as Emerson, Lake & Palmer and the Moody Blues, as evidenced by such releases as 1972's self-titled debut, 1973's Styx II, 1974's The Serpent Is Rising, and 1975's Man of Miracles. While the albums (as well as non-stop touring) helped the group build a substantial following locally, Styx failed to break through to the mainstream, until a track originally from their second album, "Lady" started to get substantial airplay in late '74 on the Chicago radio station WLS-FM. The song was soon issued as a single nationwide, and quickly shot to number six on the singles chart, as Styx II was certified gold. By this time, however, the group had grown disenchanted with their record label, and opted to sign on with A&M for their fifth release overall, 1975's Equinox (their former label would issue countless compilations over the years, culled from tracks off their early releases). On the eve of the tour in support of the album, original guitarist John Curulewski abruptly left the band, and was replaced by Tommy Shaw.  Shaw proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle for Styx, as most of their subsequent releases throughout the late '70s earned at least platinum certification (1976's Crystal Ball, 1977's The Grand Illusion, 1978's Pieces of Eight, and 1979's Cornerstone), and spawned such hit singles and classic rock radio standards as "Come Sail Away," "Renegade," "Blue Collar Man" and "Fooling Yourself."


Head East
Music Samples:
Love Me Tonight
Never Been Any Reason
Since You Been Gone
Jefftown Creek
Elijah
Head East Though St. Louis is often mentioned as Head East's hometown, the original members grew up in south central Illinois. Originally known as the TimeAtions, the band adopted the name Head East at the suggestion of Baxter Forrest Twilight, who was a technician / stage-hand for the band. August 6, 1969 is recognized as the date the band officially became Head East and they played their first gig in Carbondale, Illinois about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis.

The band, originally comprised of brothers Roger and Larry Boyd, Steve Huston, John Schlitt, and Dan Piper, would see many members come and go over the next four years. Lead singer John Schlitt and drummer Steve Huston soon left the band to concentrate on their studies and several members performed in their place until John and Steve returned as full time members in 1973. Interim vocalists and drummers included Annie Williams, Joel Motel, Betsy Kreuger, Dale Innes, and Jean Mullen on vocals, and Tony Juodis, Dan Odum, and Bill Keister on drums.

The line-up that would take them through their first six albums began to take shape in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois in 1973 where Roger Boyd and John Schlitt had been students at the University of Illinois (Steve Huston had attended Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois less than an hour south of Champaign/Urbana). Guitarist Dan Piper had left in 1972, and after both Greg Williams and Brad Flota did short stints on guitar, the band held auditions for a new guitarist. Mike Somerville was selected over numerous others who auditioned to be the new Head East lead guitarist. Shortly thereafter, Roger Boyd who had left a few months earlier, rejoined the band replacing Dickie Harney who had filled in on keyboards. By the summer of 1974 Dan Birney had replaced Larry Boyd on bass guitar, joining Roger Boyd, Steve Huston, John Schlitt, and Mike Somerville as members of Head East. Birney had previously played in a band with Mike Somerville's brother Scott.

 


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