Styx Shines on Tour with Joan Jett and Tesla – Tour Review

2018-07-18

Story and photos by Anne Erickson

Review + photos: Styx, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Tesla know how to rock a summer tour together

Styx, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Tesla are on one of the most hits-packed tours of the summer, and that trek played to a crowd of more than 10,000 at DTE Energy Music Theatre near Detroit earlier this month. All three acts have toured for decades, so they know how to deliver live, and that’s one of the reasons loyal fans flock to their concerts.

Tesla brought a mighty stage presence and fiery guitar lines to kick off the show. While many opening acts play to an empty amphitheater, that’s not the case with Tesla. With an already packed pavilion and lawn, Tesla busted out hits from “Modern Day Cowboy” to “Bad Reputation” with excitement and energy.

Next up, Joan Jett and her band served up a raw, gritty set that encompassed songs from Jett’s career, including a few Runaways hits. “Cherry Bomb,” “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” were standards that got the crowd loud and proud.

When Styx comes to town, they do it up big, and a towering stage set was the crowd’s first indicator that a larger-than-life night of music was ahead. One by one, the vets appeared on the stage: Tommy Shaw, Lawrence Gowan, James “JY” Young, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips. Original bass player Chuck Panozzo even made a few surprise appearances during the set.

Styx knows not to leave any hits out, and they didn’t. From “The Grand Illusion” to “Lady” to “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights),” “Lady,” “Renegade” and “The Grand Illusion,” the set was packed with familiar tunes, in addition to some songs off the band’s latest release, “The Mission.” The band’s encore featured the much-anticipated return of “Mr. Roboto,” as well as Styx’s biggest hit, “Come Sail Away.”

With shows such as this one, packing so many chart-toppers into a few hours of outdoor music, it’s easy to see why Styx continues to be one of the most celebrated bands of their era. It’s great to see that as time moves forward, they’re still magical live.

Styx at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan. Anne Erickson

Styx at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan. Anne Erickson

Styx at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan. Anne Erickson

Tesla at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan. Anne Erickson

Tesla at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan. Anne Erickson

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