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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Are Styx & Foreigner still relevant in today's music? CMAC crowd says yes

What: Concert Review
Who: Foreigner/Styx & Don Henley
Where: CMAC
When: July 9th, 2014
Why: As part of their summer co-headlining tour
Foreigner Live @ CMAC 2014!:
Foreigner perform @ CMAC 2014

Short Review
Last night saw the emergence of billboard heavy hitter classic rock bands Foreigner & Styx perform at CMAC along with Eagles guitarist Don Felder. Despite having rain showers off and on all day, and it being a bit cool out especially for a July show, the weather turned out to be fairly descent and a beautiful sunset gave way to the back drop at CMAC, one of the best places to see live music in Upstate NY. The three classic rock groups rocked out last night, and while looking at the crowd, one could say that surprisingly their music is still relevant in the world today. There were many older folks in the crowd, but there were some younger folks as well that were singing along to when the bands performed their favorite tunes.

In Detail
It was an impressive line up because each group could easily headline their own tour, so to see all three together was unique in its own way. Styx even came on for an encore at the end of their set, and they were they opened up for Foreigner (although to be fair it is a co-headlining tour).
Don Henley's guitar playing stills are still good and he can still perform those Eagles tunes well. He opened and performed for an hour, which is unusual for an opening band at CMAC (they usually perform for 30 minutes to 45 minutes). As his set came to an end, Felder had two members of Styx come on stage to join him for Hotel California (including Tommy Shaw).
Styx came on the stage and from the beginning people were up and wild about them, perhaps even more so than the headliners Foreigner. This isn't a surprise because they were hugely popular back in the day and still have a devoted fan group even now. The stage set up was pretty neat with a riser walkway in the back so the members could go up top and rock out to the crowd. Overall, Styx's performance was surprisingly better than expected. Tommy Shaw can still hit those high notes and believe it or not they still have energy on the stage. Styx also performed for well over an hour as well as they shared the stage with Foreigner. While the performance was good (although not entirely fantastic), there were some negative things about it. It was obvious that they are one of the true glammer rock bands of the 70s from all their digital equipment on the stage and the shining outfits they wore. The performance could have actually done without the visuals and extra effects the group laid out. But who are we kidding, it's Styx? Of course their going to do that. Another negative aspect was that they could have easily performed some more of their classic hit songs than the ones they chose to play. However the group did perform some of their hits well, including Come Sail Away and Renegades as their last song.
Foreigner took the stage after Styx. As everyone continued to stand and started singing along with some of the group's many classic tunes they started to perform like 'Double Vision', it was clear that even this group still has fans that come out and support them. Despite their only being one original member of the band left of the group, the group did perform as well as they could and the crowd got into it. You could tell that they were indeed getting old though and age wasn't being ignored at this show.
Overall, Styx were the best ones that performed last night at CMAC. While their music is old, the most powerful thing about last night was seeing the younger folk in their late teens and 20s still coming out by themselves and seeing the classic rock bands for the new generation, proving that surprisingly this type of music is still relevant. It was a pleasant surprise to see younger age girls in their 20s singing alongside with everyone else at a classic rock show.

Overall Concert Grade:
Don Henley: B+
Styx: B+
Foreigner: B-

1) The Grand Illusion
2) Too Much Time on My Hands
3) FoolIng Yourself
4) Lady
5) Light Up
6) Crystal Ball
7) Superstars
8) Blue Collar Man
9) Random Song Mix
10) Come Sail Away
Rockin' the Paradise

1) Double Vision
2) Head Games
3) Cold as Ice
4) Waiting for a girl like you
5) Feels like the First Time
6) Urgent
7) Starrider
8) Juke Box Hero
I want to Know what love is
Hot Blooded

Photos by Lou Sorendo:
Don Henley:
Don Henley:


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