Scene and Heard

38 Special, REO Speedwagon, and Styx rock Freedom Hall

Posted in Entertainment by sceneandheardblog on March 2, 2010

Nederlander Entertainment and Freedom Hall gave Louisville music fans a trip back in time Friday evening. Billed as the “Can’t Stop Rocking Tour”, 38 Special, REO Speedwagon , and Styx, performed hit after hit to the predominatly baby boomer audience.

The show started promptly at 7:00 p.m. with38 Special kicking the night of with an rowdy set filled with the onstage antics of Donnie VanZant, brother of Ronnie and JohnnyVan Zant  of Lynyrd Skynyrd fame. In fact, the bands bass player, Larry Junstrom was the intial bass player for Skynyrd.  VanZant entertained the crowd with his high energy kicks, spins  and twirls involving the audience in every song. But it was Don Barnes  soulful voice and  excellent guitar that turned up the heat, ending the set with the bands most memorable hits, “Caught up in You” and “Hold On Loosley”.

REO Speedwagon followed 38 Special to the stage and proceeded to churn out their classic songs from their catalogue of over 30 years. Lead singer Kevin Cronin, mentioned he enjoying  playing in Louisville in the 70’s and 80’s, “We always have had strong audience support for the band here”.

Many band member changes have occured over the years but original member keyboardist Neal Doughty,  and long time members, vocalist Kevin Cronin,  and bassist Bruce Hall kept the music fresh and exciting. The band satified the rockers with “Golden Country” and kept fans singing along to ballads such as” Can’t Fight This Feeling”. An encore of “Riding the Storm Out” and “157 Riverside Avenue” finished off a great set of music.

Styx headlined the show with an all out attack on the hall playing classic songs from their many gold and platinum albums. Lead by the dual guitars of Tommy Shaw,and  James Young with excellent vocals from Shaw, Young and Lawrence Gowan, Styx kept the fans standing the entire set .

From the show’s start with ‘Miss America” and classics like, ‘Suite Madam Blue”, “Crystal Ball”and “Come Sail Away”, the band showed their excellent musicianship.

The band members are  fantastic showman tossing in surprises singing , The Beatles, ” I am the Walrus ” and bringing guest star Chuck Panozzo, the original bassist of the band. The show ended crowd favorites, “Blue Collar Man” and “Renegade” while  overhead explosions of confetti covered the crowd.

It’s not often you can return to your past and leave thinking this was better than I remember. This night was one of the special times!

See more photos @

38 Special's Donnie VanZant and Don Barnes

REO's Kevin Cronin and Dave Amato


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