Dan Heary Reports, From The Good Seats…Nuge, Styx and Speedwagon Bring It!

April 25, 2013


  The Massmutual Center in Springfield, Ma. continued its surge in 2013 bringing the concert scene back to the downtown area last Tuesday by bringing a trio of “classic rockers” to the Home of Basketball.
     From beginning to end, it was a near capacity house standing singing rock and ballads from the yesteryear, whether having heard it on one’s own radio or at their folks house as a teen.  This trifecta of performers displayed energy levels that would have made John Denver retire.
     Patriotic Nugent opened and wasted no time having people cover their kids ears, for his prominence in profanity has NOT grown old as he has (65+ and 6,500 concerts).  He, as usual, was loyal.  He demanded all those involved in the Boston Marathon tragedy be put in a “STRANGLEHOLD” to cheers of a loud crowd.
     The Detroit hard rocker was followed by an extremely energized Kevin Cronin and R.E.O. Speedwagon.  From the U of Illinois in Champaign, they can still “bring it”.  From “Time For Me To Fly, “Roll With The Changes”, Ridin’ Out The Storm [dedicated to Boston] to the first three piano notes of “Keep On Loving You”, the MMC was like a massive chorus. R.E.O.’s Hi Fidelity LP produced four hit singles and sold 10 million [yes] copies
    Closing out the loud, pump- fisting “soiree” was another Illinois band, STYX. The Chi-town based performers were around before electricity [early 60's], but changed members more than Clapton, Winwood, Mayall, Stewart and so on.  It was like being at the Mohegan Sun.  Styx “Grand Illusion” LP was their 7th album, and you guessed it… it was released on 7/7/77.  The only downfall was that “Come Sail Away” reached #8 on the charts as The “Illusion” sold 3 million copies [trip platinum].
    In the end, at 10:30 pm,  I found all three performances to be tight, friendly, and energized.  The between sets took only ten minutes to change.  The crowd knew every lyric and was also enthused.  The price was great at $35-$47, and the help friendly.  In comparison, I photographed Fleetwood Mac at the Mohegan Sun the week before and the tic price was four times MMC’s  price.  Their show was 2:30 hours with 1:45 of music, lots of chatter and a rare drum solo [it is 2013] from less than average Mic Fleetwood and his red shoes.  Lindsey Buckingham is so underrated [and pick-less] as a guitar player.  And Stevie is, well, Stevie.
   The Massmutal Center is comfortable and does not have a bad seat in their house.  Shinedown makes its mark on 5/1 and Pitbull “Feels This Moment” on the 24th as Bob Seger “Turns The Page” at the Mohegan on 5/4.
Dan Heary
Rockland News


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