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STYX / Cheap Trick
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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STYX / Cheap Trick
STYX / Cheap Trick
STYX / Cheap Trick
STYX / Cheap Trick
STYX / Cheap Trick
STYX / Cheap Trick
STYX / Cheap Trick
STYX / Cheap Trick
Delaware State Fair
Harrington, Del. Sunday July 22, 2012
 
        Cheap Trick, on a off night from the support act on the Aerosmith tour and Styx, on an off night from their co-headlining tour with REO Speedwagon, joined forces for a rock ‘n roll double bill at the state fair this year
        Cheap Trick, Rick Nielsen on lead guitar, Robin Zander on guitar and vocals, Tom Peterson on bass and Daxx Nielsen (Rick's son) on drums (taking the spot from original drummer Bun E. Carlos whose back problems have held him away from touring with the band for a couple years now) took the stage at 7:30 and opened with "Hello There", California Man", and "On Top of the World". It’s been awhile since I've seen Cheap Trick but Rick still runs around that stage throwing guitar pick after pick and not missing a beat. Next was "Baby Loves to Rock" before telling the crowd for the next song they would like to invite Tommy Shaw of Styx out to sing a song with them, that being"Ain't That a Shame." As Shaw left the stage Rick says, “wow, he’s pretty good and maybe he should join Cheap Trick.” They played a few more songs before ending their set with a run of classics of "The Flame", "I Want You to Want Me" and "Surrender" where in a line in the song says, "got my Kiss records out", Rick says "got my Styx records out." ( I was thinking of Skip Dixxon.) After a very short break they returned and finished their 70-minute set with "Dream Police" (my favorite, saw that tour in Tampa Fla. in 19??).
        After a 20-minute intermission Styx, Tommy Shaw on guitar and vocals, James Young on guitar, Lawrence Gowan on keyboards, Ricky Phillips on bass and Todd Sucherman on drums, took the stage at 9:00 and opened with "Blue Collar Man", "The Grand Illusion", and "Too Much Time On My Hands". These guys really know how to entertain a crowd. They are full of flash and smiles and the band members constantly break into poses, winks and grins at the crowd and each other. The only thing missing from this show was the huge LCD screen behind the stage that accompanies them when out touring with  REO that gives much more visual affects, and past and present video of the band and their MTV heyday videos. Next was "Lady", "Lorelei" (I'm thinking the Keys on this one) and "Man In The Wilderness". Now, for a first time in many years they played two songs that I haven't heard them do live in a long time, "I'm O.K.",  and "Crystal Ball", with Shaw starting out on acoustic guitar and finishing it on an electric, just a great song in all. As the trip down memory lane continues, "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" and "Miss America" with James Young getting his chance to sing his token, complete with his funny facial expressions. Now, Gowan does his crowd participation part in which he sings a line from a song and the crowd finishes it with no problem. This led to "Come Sail Away", where they brought out original bassist and founding member, Chuck Panozzo, whose health issues have sidelined him; he’s only able to come out and play a few songs at the end of the sets each night. But you could see in his face that he was having a blast and the time of his life before ending their set.
        After a short break, the band returned and ended their 90-minute set with "Rockin' the Paradise" and "Renegade" before the crowd exited the track and headed back into the fair's midway or the casino, or home  to end one great evening for an outdoor concert.
– Gary Crouthamel, Concert Photojournalist

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