Music » Critics' Picks

REO Speedwagon/Styx/.38 Special

7 p.m. Saturday, July 11. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights.



"This house is shakin'/Don't come a-knockin'/Whoa-oh, we can't stop rockin'." Bunnygrunt's latest? No, those lyrics are from a new song by REO Speedwagon and Styx. From the lonely highway and the square neighbors annoyed by your loud music, to the obligatory extended guitar solo, "Can't Stop Rockin'" is steeped in '80s arena-rock clichés. In fact, it reaches almost Spinal Tap/Rutles levels of sublime ridiculousness. They literally don't write 'em like this anymore; it's an almost endearing celebration of a now-extinct scene and approach. As if to prove their unwillingness to stop rocking, Styx and REO are touring the nation's sheds with .38 Special, a band of badasses whose biggest hits ("Hold On Loosely," "Caught Up In You") melded Southern rock with the new-wave synths of the first Cars album.

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