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Styx, Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon announce 2012 tour

February 23, 2012 |  1:30 pm

Styx, Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon Announce 2012 Tour
Sales of disposable lighters and headbands must have spiked Wednesday when it was announced that Styx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent would be joining forces for the Midwest Rock'N'Roll Express tour.

The black light poster/Spandex-era acts announced that the 30-date outing, in which Styx will headline, will kick off May 1 in Hidalgo, Texas, and cross the country before winding up in Gilford, N.Y., on July 7, with an L.A. date scheduled for May 6 at the Greek Theatre.

So, it's time to ask yourself, how much power balladry can you stand?

Though stone-washed denim jackets, scissor kicks and wailing guitar heroes may seem to have gone the way of, well, stone-washed denim jackets, scissor kicks and wailing guitar heroes, their influence lives on in the compilation CDs available in pharmacy gift shops everywhere.

With years on the festival and casino circuit under their belts, this line-up of former arena rock staples will reprise that role with a vengeance across the heartland. The title of the tour is a proud homage for Illinois-bred bands Styx and REO Speedwagon (from Chicago and Champaign, respectively) and Nugent, who has roots in Detroit.

Press statements released Wednesday about the tour show that these  Midwestern rockers make no apologies for their corn-fed corniness:

"I am a Midwest boy, born and raised with Midwest values,” said REO Speedwagon singer-guitarist Kevin Cronin.  "In the Midwest we work hard, play hard, and rock hard.  I am proud to join my brothers in STYX and Ted Nugent to celebrate Midwest rock 'n roll and represent the greatest rock fans in the world.  I am ready to climb aboard the ‘Midwest Rock 'n Roll Express!’  Rock On baby!"

Styx singer Tommy Shaw is calling the tour a "Twang Fest of screaming guitars and big, sing-along choruses that continue to be the soundtrack for the misbehavior of our collective fan base."

Soundtrack for misbehavior? Really? This?

"Forget all those TV shows with glee clubs singing rock songs," exclaims Styx guitarist-singer James "JY" Young.  "It's time for mega-platinum Illinois bands STYX and REO Speedwagon in a battle to the end of the Mayan Calendar with the Motor City Madman!"

So, will the last day on Earth sound more like "Lady" or "Wango Tango"?  Or perhaps like the long (and thankfully) forgotten supergroup Damn Yankees that Nugent formed with Shaw in 1989.

And the random dis on "Glee" is a little snickerworthy when you consider that both of these bands are easy targets for the Fox show, especially thanks to Corry Monteith's rendition of REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling."

Check out the dates for the tour below:

DATE                     CITY                                       VENUE                                                              

May 1                    Hidalgo, Texas                        State Farm Arena

May 3                    Albuquerque                           Hard Rock Casino Albuquerque Presents The Pavilion       

* May 4                  Tucson                                   Anselmo Valencia Amphitheatre  (no Ted Nugent)

May 5                    Las Vegas                               Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino   

May 6                    Los Angeles                            Greek Theatre                                      

May 8                    Denver                                   Red Rocks Amphitheatre                         

May 10                  Council Bluffs, Iowa                Mid America Arena                                  

May 11                  Oklahoma City                        Zoo Amphitheatre                                    

* May 12               Houston                                  Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion  (no Ted Nugent)

May 13                 Corpus Christi, Texas               Concrete Street Amphitheatre                    

May 17                 Charlotte, N.C.                       Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre                 

May 19                 Virginia Beach, Va.                  Farm Bureau Live Amphitheatre                 

May 20                 Alpharetta, Ga.                       Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre                 

June 21                Kansas City, Mo.                      Starlight Amphitheatre                              

June 22                St. Louis                                 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre                 

June 23                Ft. Knox, Ky.                          Godman Army Airfield                              

June 24                Chicago                                  Charter One Pavilion                                 

June 26                Cincinnati                               Riverbend Music Center                            

June 28                Detroit                                   DTE Energy Music Theatre                         

June 29                Scranton, Pa.                         Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain          

June 30                Cleveland                               Blossom Music Center                                

July 1                  Atlantic City, N.J.                   Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Center       

July 3                  Verona, N.Y.                           Turning Stone Resort Casino                     

July 5                  Uncasville, Conn.                    Mohegan Sun Arena                                   

July 6                  Big Flats, N.Y.                         Summer Stage                                          

July 7                  Gilford, N.Y.                           Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion            


Beach Boys to headline Hollywood Bowl 

Feb. 3 proclaimed 'Motley Crue Day' in Las Vegas 

Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band add L.A., other U.S. tour dates

-- Nate Jackson

Photo: Guitarist-vocalist Tommy Shaw of Styx. Credit: Skip Bolen