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Styx, REO Speedwagon: Never too old to rock and roll

Styx, REO Speedwagon headline Ruoff show
styx band.JPG
Posted at 4:59 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 16:59:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Age is just a number. Cliche, right? Not for some rock and roll legends who are touring the country, playing old school outdoor shows at a time when most have hung up their guitars and keys except for special occasions.

"One of the many great things about rock music is once you start playing it, you're 15 years old again," said Lawrence Gowan, just days away from the 23rd anniversary of his joining the band Styx as vocalist and keyboardist. "The moment you start listening to it, you're any age you want to be, quite frankly."

Gowan and Styx are co-headlining the "Live and UnZoomed" Tour with REO Speedwagon, a band whose founding pre-dates even that of Styx. The two bands that built massive followings in the 1970's and 80's are joined by special guests - and another 1980's staple, Loverboy, as the tour plays Ruoff Music Center on Friday.

Unlike most bands with five decades behind them, Styx is still in creative mode. They have regularly put out new music in the decades since their last charted hits, releasing another album - "Crash of the Crown" - in late 2021, composed largely while the band was separated at home during the pandemic.

Since Gowan joined the band's core members - guitarist and vocalist Tommy Shaw, guitarist James "JY" Young, bassists Chuck Panozzo and Ricky Phillips and drummer Todd Sucherman, Styx gained the reputation of being "forever" on tour. How weird was it that the forever tour — and pretty much everything else — were stopped by a virus for almost two years? "Probably no more weird and difficult than for anyone on planet Earth that had to suddenly readjust and realign their expectations of things that we took for granted," Gowan said. "What we did about it, because of what we're doing with Zoom calls and the apps that came out that could connect studios, so I could be in Toronto and record with Tommy in Nashville in real time," and the band kept up their chops. And put out a new album.

You'll hear some of that new album, along with all your Styx favorites - plus those from REO Speedwagon and Loverboy - Friday night at Ruoff Music Center. There are a limited number of tickets still available. Click here to find out more.