Irving, TX – The much-anticipated summer tour with Styx, Joan Jett & the Black Hearts, and special guest Tesla rocked the Toyota music Pavilion Sunday evening.
Tesla, the evening opener, had fans showing up early. No one wanted to miss this Sacramento band play their favorite hits. Celebrating their 31st year, Tesla certainly knows how to bring the energy. Singer Jeff Keith and guitarist Frank Hannon really got the crowd moving and on their feet early. Bassist Brian Wheat looks better this night than he has looked in several years. Guitarist Dave Rude brings his youth, smooth guitar licks, and unusual rock grimaces. Most notable to the new Tesla stage is drummer Troy Lucketta’s new drum set, which sports the Tesla logo and heavy chrome. Tesla opened with “I Wanna Live”, a song not heard often live, from their Forevermore album. Tesla has such a vast portfolio of acoustically and electrically played music that they could literally play all night and still not please every loyal fan. Nonetheless, Tesla played an outstanding set Sunday and catapulted the evening leading up to Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
Tesla Slide Show Below:
When Joan Jett came into view, she was wearing all black while strapped to a spicy red guitar. Jett and the Blackhearts opened with the classic “Bad Reputation”. With a complete in your face Joan Jett style of rock, this selection grabbed everyone’s attention fast. Wasting no time, Joan and the Blackhearts hit all their heavy hits including “Cherry Bomb” and “Do You Want To Touch”. Further, into the set, they did it again with “I Love Rock N Roll”, “Crimson and Clover”, and “ I Hate Myself For Loving You”. They played an amazing 14 song set with two encore songs: “Real Wild Child” and “Everyday People”.
When the stagehands started setting up for Styx, it was easy to see that this was going to be significant. As the lights dimmed, guitarist/singer Tommy Shaw appeared stage right hoisting his guitar in the air. With cheers from the crowd, the other members joined Shaw on stage and went into the opening song “Gone, Gone, Gone” from their new studio album, The Mission. While this tour isn’t necessarily a new album tour, Styx did play several new hits during their 14 song set. After “Blue Collar Man” and shortly before “Grand Illusion”, guitarist/singer James Young reminded the crowd they had been around for a while. He goes on to say that once they sold 6 million albums in a year with 1 million of those being eight tracks.
Styx played several fan favorites Sunday including “Lady”, “Rocking To Paradise”, “Foolin Yourself”, “Too Much Time”, “Come Sail Away”, and “Deep In The Heart of Texas”. Yes, that’s right, “Deep in the heart of Texas”, with Tommy Shaw and the crowd clapping and singing. Finishing out the night were two encore songs and confetti flying everywhere: “Mr. Roboto” and “Renegade”.
For me, Sunday’s show at The Toyota Music Factory had more feeling compared to any other recent review. While strolling into the venue Sunday, I thought about all of the songs from Styx and Joan Jett that impacted my younger life. Songs like “I Love Rock n Roll” and “Lady” were staples on my favorite rock stations throughout the 70s and 80s.
Were you there on Sunday evening? Tell us your thoughts below.
Check out more photos from Sunday at The Toyota Music Factory in Irving below: