Styx & Joan Jett with Tesla @ FivePoint Amphitheater – 05/30/2018
Without a doubt one of the most entertaining tours of the summer kicked off Wednesday night May 30 in Irvine, CA at the new Fivepoint Amphitheater featuring arena rock giants Styx along with Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Jett and the Blackhearts with special guests hard rockers Tesla. This six-week tour goes from West coast to East coast making lots of stops in between.
Hitting the stage early to open the show was Tesla who certainly had lots of die-hard fans scattered throughout the sparse audience when they hit the stage at 7:00pm. The veterans are one of the true rock n roll bands that emerged from the 80’s hair band scene and continue to rock hard in a live setting led by vocalist Jeff Keith who maintains a strong vocal delivery and not having lost a step in 30 years. The band opened with “I Wanna Live” off their 2008 release Forever More.
Founding guitarist Frank Hannon remains one of the most talented musicians in rock n roll playing guitar, theremin, harmonica, piano, etc and along with his counterpart Dave Rude – they are a hell of a guitar duo. Brian Wheat on bass with drummer Troy Luccketta hold down the rhythm section making for a band of first class musicians.
Although the set was only seven songs long, the band packed in a few of their biggest hits such as the slower “Love Song” along with their mega-hit “Signs” and ended the set with the super-charged “Modern Day Cowboy” which features some scorching six-string mastery from both Hannon and Rude. A GREAT way to kick off this tour and the night of music in Irvine!
The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Godmother of Punk Joan Jett hit the stage with her band The Blackhearts and wasted no time getting thinks going with the song “Bad Reputation” and took the crowd through 60 minutes of angst driven rock n roll. By this time the venue was much more packed with fans as the band went into The Runaways “Cherry Bomb” and Jett along with her band that includes long time guitarist Dougie Needles took you through a setlist of hits that included Jett’s first song she wrote with the Runaways “You Drive Me Wild”, the rocker “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and the slower “Crimson & Clover”. The band ended their time onstage with the Sly and The Family Stone cover of “Everyday People”.
Just prior to Styx taking the stage, Mother-Nature added a bit of light drizzle to the cool over cast night but that did not impact the fans anticipation and it certainly did not impact Styx’s delivery of a kick-ass show. The band took the stage and opened this epic night with “Gone Gone Gone” off their 2017 release The Mission which just goes to show confident they are with their new material. It’s hard not to immediately focus on vocalist/keyboardist Lawrence Gowan as he sings and hits the keys on his spinning keyboard podium. This band consists of five very talented musicians but the sum of the individuals is what makes Styx such a magical band.
Tommy Shaw remains a complete showman with his guitar chops as well as his singing and his six-string partner in crime James “J.Y.” Young is equally as entertaining and talented on guitar. J.Y addressed the crowd early on thanking them for coming out and stated that it was 40 years ago The Grand Illusion was released and they were going to celebrate by playing half that album on this night. J.Y also encouraged all to Light Up since CA was now a legal recreational state for a certain substance as the band kicked into the song “Light Up”.
Dymanic bassist Ricky Phillips traded his bass duties with original bassist Chuck Panozzo on a few songs which is a nice salute since Panozzo is battling some health issues. You can’t have a Styx show without certain songs like “Too Much Time On My Hands” which Tommy Shaw sung perfectly, “Come Sail Away” which featured Panozzo on bass but the biggest surprise of the night was the first song of their encore as the band went into “Mr. Roboto” which just happened to be the FIRST time in 34 years the full band had played the song in its entirety and the crowd LOVED it!!
The night ended with the mega-hit “Renegade” which again featured Shaw on lead vocals and Panozzo on bass – the perfect song to end what was a perfect night! Styx once again proved that in 2018 – some 46 years into their career – that they are still the undisputed Kings of arena rock and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Be sure to catch this tour when it hits your town!
Gone Gone Gone | Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) | The Grand Illusion | Lady | Light Up | Rockin’ the Paradise | Radio Silence | Miss America | The Outpost | Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) | Too Much Time on My Hands | Khedive | Come Sail Away
Encore: Mr. Roboto | Renegade
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts Setlist:
Bad Reputation | Cherry Bomb (The Runaways cover) | Do You Wanna Touch Me (Gary Glitter cover) | Victim of Circumstance | You Drive Me Wild (The Runaways cover) | Light of Day (Bruce Springsteen cover) | Fetish | Love Is Pain | Fresh Start | Love Is All Around (Sonny Curtis cover) | I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (The Arrows cover) | Crimson & Clover (Tommy James & the Shondells cover) | I Hate Myself for Loving You | Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
I Wanna Live | Hang Tough | Heavens Trail | Signs | Love Song | Lil Suzie | Modern Day Cowboy
Tesla Photo Gallery
Styx Photo Gallery