Backstage News, Front Row Pics

The Midwest Rock ‘n Roll Express Returns

STYX ~ photo by Ash Newell

STYX ~ photo by Ash Newell

Last year’s debut of “The Midwest Rock ‘n Roll Express” tour, recognized by Rolling Stone as one of the “Ten Hottest Summer Package Tours of 2012,” was such a huge success that rock’s finest from the Midwest ~ STYX, REO Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent ~ are teaming up again for another round of shows in April and May.

In Their Own Words

“Due to the overwhelming success of last year’s tour, we are going to once again wind up the juggernaut of megatainment.  STYX, REO and the Motor City Madman: there aren’t enough expletives in my vocabulary to explain how great this is…but I’ll try.  This is going to be *$@&#@*&@# awesome!” ~ James “JY” Young, STYX (guitars, vocals)

“Yo, wake up everybody!  Winter is over, the snow is melting, the sun is coming out–it’s time for the second annual REO, STYX, Nugent springtime extravaganza.  We had so much fun in 2012 we all decided to fire this ‘Midwest Rock ‘n Roll Express’ thing up and do it again.  Time to strap on our six strings, pack up the trucks and tour buses, get together with our best rock buddies and go out to have some big fun. See y’all soon.” ~ Kevin Cronin, REO Speedwagon (vocals, guitars, keyboards)

“Blazing vocal melodies and guitars, soaring arrangements steeped in Progressive Rock roots, heart touching ballads you know in your bones, and that’s just my Damn Yankees brother Ted Nugent I’m talking about!  Wait until STYX and REO take the stage!  You might need to take the next day off after riding this glorious train!” ~ Tommy Shaw, STYX (vocals, guitars)

“When you live the ultimate American guitar player’s dream, with the ultimate grinding band, performing the most intense fun songs in the world to the most enthusiastic audiences alive, every tour and every concert is an indescribable celebration. STYX and REO deserve me. Here we come again baby, like dogs in heat!”  ~ Ted Nugent

About Rock to the Rescue   


Rock to the Rescue ~ spearheaded by Tommy Shaw’s daughter Hannah ~ is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by the band, whoseRock to the Rescue mission is to build strong, healthy communities through the support of grassroots organizations across the country.  It was founded on the principle that our communities are stronger when we work together in mutual aid.  Having played over 1500 shows in the last 14 years, STYX has been strongly connected with communities across the country.  With local fans and community members making an effort to join in support of STYX, it is important to the band to actively participate in these communities as well.  At each tour date, Rock to the Rescue partners with a local group to give back through community outreach, fundraising, and volunteer support.  What makes Rock to the Rescue unique is that they work on a grassroots level with small groups, giving real support to real individuals who are creating positive changes in their communities. Rock to the Rescue is building initiatives in the areas of music education, health and well-being, disaster relief and aid, and animal welfare and rescue.

Hannah with a couple of Rock to the Rescue friends from Forever Pets in Redding, CA ~ photo courtesy of

Hannah with a couple of Rock to the Rescue friends from Forever Pets in Redding, CA ~ photo courtesy of

Tommy Shaw explains, “All this time our main goal has been to engage people and lift their spirits through our music, but now we realize that we can also come together and engage them in doing good for their communities and for the world. It’s the same kind of inertia that happens with music; it all starts with an idea, and that idea grows into something that has the power to inspire change.”

At each tour stop, Hannah Shaw researches local nonprofit organizations and picks one to see if they are interested in volunteering to help the band sell $10 tickets for a drawing to win a signed STYX guitar at the shows.  They give these organizations a percentage of the sales as their way of supporting their cause and thanking them for supporting the band’s cause.

 Here are a few STYX links for you to enjoy!

“The Midwest Rock ‘n Roll Express” tour film

Making of “Styx:  The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight Live” DVD 

“Blue Collar Man” from “Styx:  The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight Live” DVD 

VH1 “Behind The Music Remastered” full episode (aired January 2012)


Midwest Rock ‘n Roll Express Tour Dates

4/18 – Grand Forks, N.D.

4/19 – Minneapolis, Minn.
4/20 – Moline, Ill.
4/21 – Toledo, Ohio
4/23 – Springfield, Mass.
4/24 – Glens Falls, N.Y.
4/26 – East Rutherford, N.J.
4/27 – Raleigh, N.C.
4/28 – Roanoke, Va.
5/01 – Estero, Fla.
5/03 – St. Augustine, Fla.
5/05 – Atlanta, Ga.
5/08 – Tulsa, Okla.
5/10 – Kansas City, Kan.
5/11 – Lincoln, Neb.
5/14 – Grand Rapids, Mich.
5/15 – Evansville, Ind.
5/17 – Green Bay, Wis.
5/18 – St. Louis, Mo.
5/19 – Burgettstown, Pa.


REO Speedwagon

Ted Nugent