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Arts & CultureEntertainment

Classic rock dual show to kick off Allentown Fair grandstand

Styx.jpg
Courtesy
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Allentown Fair
Styx and REO Speedwagon will headline opening night of Allentown Fair, Aug. 3o

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A concert by two classic rock headliners will kick off The Great Allentown Fair's grandstand lineup, it was announced Wednesday.

Styx and REO Speedwagon will perform on the fair's first night Aug. 30.

Tickets are $89 and $69 and include admission into the fair. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 3 at Ticketmaster.com and special box office hours will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. that day.

  • Classic rockers Styx and REO Speedwagon will headline The Great Allentown Fair
  • They'll play the first night of the fair, Aug. 30
  • Tickets, at $89 and $69, go on sale 10 a.m. Feb. 3

The show is the second headliner to be announced for the fair's grandstand lineup. Previously announced was four-time Grammy Award winner Keith Urban, who will return to the fair Sept. 3.

The fair is scheduled to run Aug. 30-Sept. 4.

“Kicking off the 2023 Great Allentown Fair with these two beloved classic rock bands will be amazing," fair Marketing and Entertainment Manager Jessica Ciecwisz said.

"The city of Allentown will hear the historic grandstand rocking with hit after hit.”

The last time REO Speedwagon and Styx and REO Speedwagon played the Allentown Fair as co-headliners was in 2001.

Styx also performed at the fair with Def Leppard and Tesla in 2015.

“Kicking off the 2023 Great Allentown Fair with these two beloved classic rock bands will be amazing. The city of Allentown will hear the historic grandstand rocking with hit after hit.”
Allentown Fair Marketing and Entertainment Manager Jessica Ciecwisz

Styx, best known for such hits as "Come Sail Away," "Babe," "Lady," "Lorelei" and "Too Much Time on My Hands," released four consecutive hit albums from 1977 to 1981 — "The Grand Illusion," "Pieces of Eight" and "Paradise Theatre." Each sold more than 3 million, and "Cornerstone" more than 2 million.

In all, Styx has sold more than 20 million albums.

Original lead singer Dennis DeYoung left the group in 1999 and tours solo, but original guitarist and keyboardist James "J.T." Young remains, as does guitarist/singer Tommy Shaw, who joined the band in 1976 and was with Styx for all its hits. Vocalist Lawrence Gowan joined the band in 1999.

Styx released a new disc, "Crash of the Crown," in June. Shortly before that, it released new music on an EP, "The Same Stardust," in June.

Styx also headlined Bethlehem's Musikfest in 2013 and played a sold-out show at Penn's Peak near Jim Thorpe and at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, now Wind Creek, both in 2012.

REO Speedwagon
Allentown Fair
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REO Speedwagon will headline Allentown Fair's grandstand on opening night, Aug. 30.

REO Speedwagon is best known for the hits "Keep on Loving You," "Can't Fight This Feeling," "Take It on the Run" and "Keep the Fire Burnin."

Its self-titled debut album came out in 1971, but its 1972 sophomore disc, R.E.O./T.W.O. hit gold and its third album, 1973’s “Ridin’ Out the Storm” sold platinum.

It had even more success in 1978 with its double-platinum disc “You Can Tune a Piano but You Can’ Tuna Fish,” and the hits “Roll With the Changes” and “Time for Me to Fly.”

But it had its biggest commercial success with the 1980 album “Hi Infidelity,” which hit No. 1, sold 10 million copies and produced the platinum, No. 1 hit “Keep On Lovin’ You” and the gold hit “Take It On the Run.”

REO's lineup includes vocalist Kevin Cronin, keyboardist Neal Doughty and bassist Bruce Hall from the group's classic lineup.

REO also played Penn's Peak near Jim Thorpe in 2018, Allentown’s PPL Center with Def Leppard and Tesla in 2016, at Bethlehem’s Musikfest in 2014 and 2005 and Easton’s State Theatre in 2009.

The fair was canceled by COVID in 2020, and last year ran just a three-show grandstand lineup instead of its normal six-show offering, as the concert industry recovered.

Fair Marketing and Entertaining Manager Jessica Ciecwisz said the grandstand will offer a full line-up in 2023, and expects to announce two more headline acts this week.