Summerfest 2021 Festival Stage Headliners for Week One:
REO Speedwagon - September 2
Queensryche - September 2
Night Ranger - September 3
Styx - September 4
GA Tickets available here for the weekend, individual days, or the whole festival.
Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by iconic vocalist Kevin Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon’s unrelenting drive, as well as non-stop touring and recording jump-started the burgeoning rock movement in the Midwest. Platinum albums and radio staples soon followed, setting the stage for the release of the band’s explosive Hi Infidelity in 1980, which contained the massive hit singles “Keep On Loving You” and “Take It On the Run.” That landmark album spent 15 weeks in the No. 1 slot and has since earned the RIAA’s coveted 10X Diamond Award for surpassing sales of 10 million units in the United States.
Today, REO Speedwagon has sold more than 40 million albums around the globe, and Cronin and bandmates Bruce Hall (bass), Neal Doughty (keyboards), Dave Amato (guitar), and Bryan Hitt (drums) are still electrifying audiences worldwide in concert with hits and fan-favorites such as “In Your Letter,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Time For Me To Fly,” “Roll With The Changes,” the aforementioned “Keep On Loving You” and “Take It On the Run,” and many, many more.
Against the formidable obstacles of an ever-changing cultural landscape, the rise and fall of various musical trends, and the near-collapse of the record industry itself, QUEENSRŸCHE secured a triumphant legacy as one of hard rock’s most respected and celebrated acts, selling 30 million albums around the world across a 30-plus-year career.
The band’s name is uttered in the same breath as many of the groups they looked to as influences and others who arose as peers. Queensrÿche built a dedicated legion of fans traveling the globe on tour with fellow rock giants like Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Judas Priest, and Def Leppard. In recent years, they’ve consistently delivered high-octane live shows combining the hungry fire of a new band with the tempered experience of master showmen. Even with eleven gold and platinum plaques and several Top 10 hard rock anthems woven into the very fiber of the genre, Queensrÿche won’t relent. In fact, they’re in the throes of a jaw-dropping creative resurgence.
Dark, melodic, dynamic, diverse, instantly memorable, with an intellectual slant to the songwriting and lyrics that are always inviting on the surface while rewarding deeper listening, Queensrÿche continuously replenishes themselves, more than three decades into their body of work. Brave, adventurous, never less than authentic, Queensrÿche captured the rare, lightning-in-a-bottle status of being both legendary and contemporary.
With more than17 Million albums sold worldwide, over3500 live performances, and a radio audience that exceeds 1 Billion. Night Ranger has both epitomized and transcended the arena rock sound and style well beyond that era. With multiple songs that have significantly impacted popular culture, Night Ranger continue to expand their ever-growing fan-base. The band is proof that powerful songs, plus accomplished musicians is the perfect formula for continued success.
Night Ranger have earned widespread acclaim, that includes multi-platinum and gold album status while leaving their indelible mark on the music charts with a string of best-selling albums (Dawn Patrol, Midnight Madness,7 Wishes, Big Life and Man In Motion). Their popularity is fueled by an impressive string of instantly recognizable hit singles and signature album tracks, including legendary titles such as "Sister Christian", "Don't Tell Me You Love Me", "When You Close Your Eyes", the anthemic "(You Can Still) Rock In America", along with "Sentimental Street", "Goodbye", "Sing Me Away", and "Four in the Morning".
Over the years, the band's music has made notable contributions to and been featured in many different areas of media and popular culture. The band was one of the first big "video" bands on MTV, with over ten number one hit videos. Night Ranger songs can be heard in TV Shows like, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, American Dad, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, Parks & Recreation. The band have also had music featured in video games such as Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Grand Theft Auto, plus hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages, the Oscar-Nominated film Boogie Nights, and other feature films such as Friday the 13th,Teachers,Sixteen Candles, and The Secret of My Success. Night Ranger can also be heard throughout JBL’s "Hear The Truth" brand campaign.
The six men comprising Styx have committed to rocking the Paradise together with audiences far and wide by entering their second decade of averaging over 100 shows a year, and each one of them is committed to making the next show better than the last. Styx draws from over four decades of barn burning chart hits, joyous singalongs, and hard-driving deep cuts. Like a symphony that builds to a satisfying crescendo, a Styx set covers a wide range of stylistic cornerstones. From the progressively sweeping splendor that is “The Grand Illusion” to the hunker-down fortitude of all that is the “Blue Collar Man,” from the majestic spiritual love for a special “Lady” to the seething indictment of preening, primping pageantry for pageantry’s sake of “Miss America,” from an individual yearning for true connection as a “Man in the Wilderness” to a soul-deep quest to achieve what’s at the heart of one’s personal vision in “Crystal Ball,” from the regal reach-for-the-stars bravado of “Come Sail Away” to the grainy all-in gallop of that rugged “Renegade” who had it made, the band draws on an unlimited cache of ways to immerse one’s mind and body in their signature sound.
Styx hit its stride with guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw’s first LP with the band, 1976’sCrystal Ball, and then they become the first group to score four triple-platinum albums in a row: The Grand Illusion(1977),Pieces of Eight(1978),Cornerstone(1979), and Paradise Theater(1981). Over the ensuing decade, Styx weathered the shifting winds of the public’s musical taste, reconvening for a highly successful 1996Return to Paradise tour that was expertly documented on both CD and DVD in 1997. With a little help from their many friends in Cleveland’s Contemporary Youth Orchestra, One With Everything(2006) became a hybrid orchestral rock blend for the ages. And on The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Live(2011), the band performed at its peak when tackling every track from a pair of their finest triple-platinum albums back to back. Not only that, but the band re-recorded two discs’ worth of its classic material with much finesse and musculature, aptly known as Regeneration Volume I & II(2011 & 2012). Observes Tommy, “Now you have something you can take home with you and go, ‘Yeah, that’s the band I saw last night.’ ”
After more than a decade together on the road, this incarnation of Styx is looking forward to performing as many shows as it can as long as it can. “It all comes back to the chemistry,” says bassist/vocalist Ricky Phillips. “The legacy of this band will be that it brought joy to millions of people,” notes drummer Todd Sucherman. Observes keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan, “We’ve always tried to explain why this is this happening. It’s obviously a multitude of factors, but the main one is that our show is really good! And if it’s really good, they’re going to come to see it again.” Styx hopes it’s a wave that never crests. “Every night, we go on that magic carpet ride together,” observes original bassist Chuck Panozzo, who joins the band on tour as often as he can. “Music is this amazing force that comes from a higher place. I'm humbled for this band to have the great success that it has,” says co-founding guitarist/vocalist James “JY” Young. “We just want to keep on doing this,” asserts Tommy. “We want to let life take its course and let this music continue to be the soundtrack to it. And this band will continue to evolve as long as we live and play this music.” The jig is up, the news is out: The Esprit de Styx is alive and well, and now it’s time to see for yourself. Welcome to the Grand Evolution.