Soundtrack of Summer Tour Rewinds - Don Felder, Styx & Forgeiner
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Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 – Camden, New Jersey

Article By Danny Coleman

“What was it like?” said Don Felder at a recent backstage meet and greet with several fans when questioned about being on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine while a member of the Eagles. “It was, well, let’s say I was happy and a little ticked off at the same time,” he answered with a minor chuckle. “The editor put us on the cover but panned our album in his review so….” The album which Felder is referring to was none other than Hotel California.

Felder had just finished a smokin’ hot set that kicked off a sweltering evening at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ as he did his part opening for Styx and Foreigner on the “Sounds of Summer Tour.”

Starting right on time at 7 p.m., Felder took the stage dressed in white with a black vest, briefly addressed the crowd and broke into “Already Gone,” this being the first of nine popular Eagles songs in this eleven song set.  Others included, “One of These Nights,” Victim of Love” and an incredible display of vocal harmonies on “Seven Bridges Road;” A smiling Felder (who is also an avid golfer) then prefaced “Witchy Woman” by saying, “Tiger Woods seems to have known a few of these women in the past.”

Stepping away from his former band and stating something to the effect that some in the audience may or may not remember this next song and continuing with, “…if you do remember it; you weren’t high enough in the movie theater,” Felder broke into his mega hit “Heavy Metal.” “Heartache Tonight” and “Life In The Fast Lane” sped along nicely, much to the approval of the large crowd, which only earlier in the set Felder had implored to move down into the covered section of the amphitheater as a blustery summer thunderstorm blew through; soaking those who chose to stay in their lawn seats.
The set ended with this seemingly ageless rocker calling tour mates Tommy Shaw and Todd Sucherman of Styx out on stage as Don and his all-star band broke into “Hotel California,” which was greeted with, appropriately enough, thunderous applause.

Running on a tight schedule, the road crew worked a fifteen-minute change over to the set up for Styx and at 8:05 p.m. EST the opening notes of “The Grand Illusion,” split the night air. “Too Much Tim on My Hands” and “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” followed and the band was in full party mode as once again the now near capacity crowd, most of which were 40 and 50 somethings, were reliving their days gone by with a vengeance.

The frenzied crowd was calmed for a moment when transported back to the leisure suit/powder blue tuxedo junior prom theme classic “Lady” which was followed by “Suite Madame Blue,” “Light Up” and “Superstars,” truly to this point, something for Styx fans from every era. During this run, Tommy Shaw took a run of his own as he jumped down from the stage, guitar in hand and wandered the aisles and around the perimeter of a surprised Susquehanna Bank Center.

The lights went low once Shaw returned to the stage, Tommy returned the favor and called upon Don Felder to join the band for a rollicking version of “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights).”  The main spotlight was then trained on keyboardist Lawrence Gowan, who began to play the Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” inciting a brief sing along until he stopped pre second verse and said, “Ok, let’s just talk about the elephant in the room shall we?” Referring to social media and the fact that word had spread literally like wildfire; he poked fun at the recent misfortunes of the band’s tour bus catching fire. Being unable to resist, Gowan broke into a refrain of the Doors, “Light My Fire” and thanked the Philadelphia, PA firefighters who responded so quickly to their plight.  After several more chuckles and thanks, the opening notes of the arena rock classic “Come Sail Away” sent the crowd into a frenzied sing along, which by the smile on Gowan’s face, ignited another fire within his already enthusiastic stage performance.

An encore of “Rockin’ The Paradise” and “Renegade” put a wrap on this highly energetic set which seemingly left no one disappointed. Dan Sclocchini who made the trip with other friends from the Philadelphia area said, “We were all kind of sitting around the picnic table and we saw a commercial for this show and we thought, sounds like a good idea; I’m glad we came, it’s a great so far.”  Dan’s friend Ron Mestichelli added, “Yeah, any band that you can see when you’re age 14 and still see when you’re 52; you have got to go!”

Foreigner would be the last to take the stage at 9:43 p.m. with a crisp version of “Double Vision” and then immediately into “Head Games.” Kelly Hansen had many in the crowd saying, “Lou who?” as his vocals pierced the night air. The man who replaced Lou Gramm seemed to be very comfortable breezing through the band’s catalog of hits. “Not to belabor the point but Styx hasn’t told us WHY that tour bus caught fire,” Hansen laughed as the band broke into “Cold As Ice.” “Waiting For a Girl Like You” was followed by ‘Dirty White Boy” and Hansen, dripping with sweat referenced the fact that anyone over the age of forty should “Not be sitting down.”

Hansen next spoke briefly about the band’s history and lamented the ailing health of original member Mick Jones, who makes only select appearances on the tour. Fortunately for the Camden crowd, this was one of those nights and Hansen introduced Jones to huge appreciative applause as the opening riffs of “Feels Like The First Time” flowed like a river from the sound system followed by “Urgent.”

Wearing a strained smile, an obviously pleased Jones, thanked his well-wishers and drew yet another massive round of applause when he spoke of the now gone Spectrum in Philadelphia and what a special place the old building was to the band and entertainers in general; he then dedicated “Starrider” to his mother.

A nifty call and answer between drums and keyboard ensued before the entire band joined in for a fantastic version of “Juke Box Hero.” The band was steamrolling ahead at this point, building to a crescendo at song’s completion upon which they said their temporary goodbyes and exited the stage.

Moments later they retook the stage along with the Cherokee High School Choir. As the large contingent filtered into their positions, Hansen commanded the crowd to join arms and/or hands and love the person next to them as they performed “I Want To Know What Love Is.” The band members encouraged their teenaged guests to sing loudly and bassist Jeff Pilson even allowed a choir member to strum his bass as the audience swayed and sang along.

“Hot Blooded” brought the evening to a close at approximately 11 p.m. and the house lights immediately sent the signal, that for at least this night, the “Soundtrack of Summer” tour had run its playlist to the end. Fan Tracy Solomon was overheard saying, “I loved it and I didn’t even really want to come tonight!” Solomon then stated that Don Felder was her favorite as her husband Brad proclaimed that he, “Enjoyed both Styx and Foreigner” as well. A woman known only as “Scrumptious” expressed that she “Loved the sax guy in Foreigner,” whose amazing solos throughout the set added much to the band’s already great sound.

Overall, a fabulous night of music and for those over 40 years of age; definitely a soundtrack from summers long ago passed. To see where the soundtrack is playing next, please go to www.soundtrackofsummer.com

SOUNDTRACK OF SUMMER TOUR WEBSITE

DON FELDER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | ITUNES

JEFF PILSON | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | ITUNES

RICKY PHILLIPS | FACEBOOK | ITUNES

STYX | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | ITUNES

FOREIGNER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | ITUNES

DANNY COLEMAN |DANNY COLEMAN’S ROCK ON RADIO FACEBOOK| TWITTER

ROCK ON RADIO STATIONS ~ HAMILTON RADIO | GASHOUSE RADIO | THE PENGUIN ROCKS | Z108

 

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