CAMDEN, NJ—If you’re looking for almost four hours of music and entertainment, then this tour is for you. Don Felder, once a driving force behind The Eagles and many of their hits, took the stage and wowed the audience with “Already Gone.”
The band and Don were “cool” and freewheeling out there strictly to entertain and not to show off. Some younger fans may have never heard the hit “One Of These Nights” or “Heavy Metal,” which was a soundtrack song from an animated movie back in 1981.
Some may remember the hit “Witchy Woman” from the series Seinfeld, but that was played to perfection and so was “Heartache Tonight,” “Life In The Fast Lane” and the mega hit “Hotel California” that saw Tommy Shaw from Styx on stage jamming with Felder.
Most of the fans in the audience were there to see the headliners, Styx. They may have played the middle set out of a rotation but they brought the heat. Having seen them many times with the originals and otherwise, this version is terrific and back to basics.
The show opened up with “The Grand Illusion,” “Too Much Time On My Hands” and “Fooling Yourself.” James Young and Tommy Shaw have created a great chemistry with Lawrence Gowan, who took over years ago for Dennis DeYoung. With Gowan, the band has returned more to their roots with songs like “Lady,” “Suite Madame Blue” “Light Up” (off the Equinox album circa 1975) and “Superstars.”
The band now has a more humble approach that included Tommy jamming in the crowd, something Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen took to the next level by running around high-fiving fans in their set. “Blue Collar Man” featured Don Felder, and that was a song that drummer Todd Sucherman and bassist Ricky Phillips really shined on.
Gowan and his 180-degree keyboard really excelled on his solo that included the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and The Doors’ “Light My Fire.” Coincidentally, these songs came after he talked about how their recent tour bus fire lit up social media. “Come Sail Away,” “Rockin’ The Paradise” and “Renegade” closed out this amazing performance.
Foreigner had the biggest stage performance. Better lighting, smoke, but they didn’t have Mick Jones, the lone remaining member, until their fifth song. The first four were “Double Vision,” “Head Games,” “Cold As Ice” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You.” Jones came on the stage for “Feels Like The First Time,” the song that many felt really got the band on the map, their first-ever single first released in 1977. The mood changed significantly. The band told the audience that Jones had missed some shows and this was his first on the tour. It made a difference.
“Urgent” featured a lot of Jones and it injected an energy into the crowd that existed for the rest of the show. Jones was killing it on guitar for “Starrider,” another gem from their debut album. Many people probably heard it on an eight-track player, but this sounded gloriously spacey. Before the song began, Jones dedicated this song to his late mother. It was a touching moment.
“Juke Box Hero” is a dated phrase, but the song is still vibrant. Chris Frazier started off with a drum solo that led the band into the hit song. The entire band outdid themselves on this number. “I Want To Know What Love Is” was the first encore, and that featured the Cherokee School Choir from Marlton, New Jersey. It was a stellar moment in the show and a great reminder what a beautiful song this still is. The show ended with “Hot Blooded,” and everybody left satisfied.
The Soundtrack Of Summer tour will be remembered as one of the best shows out there. The value was there, the three different stage setups were fun, and everybody had different lights and a different vibe. Fans of all ages really couldn’t ask for more.