SCRANTON — There may not have been any fireworks at this Fourth of July bash, but Don Felder, Styx and Foreigner provided plenty of sparks Friday at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain.
For nearly four hours, the three classic-rock heavyweights rattled off one hit after another as “The Soundtrack of Summer” tour came to Scranton.
Felder, who was the lead guitarist for the Eagles from 1974 to 2001, was first to the stage, playing a fiery 50-minute set of mostly Eagles classics. For a guitar hero not really known for his vocals, Felder more than capably sang the songs associated with his former bandmates Glenn Frey and Don Henley.
The now 66-year-old guitarist originally from Gainesville, Fla., opened with very good versions of “Already Gone” and “One of These Nights” before playing his recent classic-rock radio hit “You Don’t Have Me” from his 2012 album “Road to Forever.”
“This one I wrote with my old buddies from my old band, The Seagulls,” Felder joked at the start of “Victim of Love.” He then played a stunning version of “Seven Bridges Road,” which showed off the vocal abilities of his crack backing band.
Other highlights included his 1981 solo hit “Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride)” and Eagles standouts “Witchy Woman,” “Heartache Tonight” and “Life in the Fast Lane.”
“How many of you remember this guitar,” he asked as he strapped on his famous double-necked beauty for his closing number. “Then you know what’s coming,” he said as he launched into “Hotel California” (a song he co-wrote with Frey and Henley), breathing some fresh life into the old warhorse Friday with a little help Friday from Styx’s Tommy Shaw and Todd Sucherman.
Co-headliner Styx followed with a crowd-pleasing hour long set of its classics, starting with “The Grand Illusion.” Lawrence Gowan has been singing this and the other Dennis DeYoung-led tunes in the band’s repertoire since 1999, and it showed Friday as he more or less owned that material.
Shaw took over for the next two numbers as he treated the crowd to superb versions of “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man).”
Longtime member James “J.Y.” Young supplied some tasty guitar licks all evening long and took over on lead vocals for “Light Up.”
Gowan sang a nice rendition of the band’s first success, 1974’s “Lady,” and followed with a very apropos “Suite Madame Blue” from the “Equinox” album, with its images of the Statue of Liberty lighting up the stage nicely.
After Felder joined them for a great version of “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights),” Gowan talked about the band’s bus fire from earlier in the week, saying it made them the butt of many internet jokes.
“OK, they were funny, now stop,” he said before quickly adding, “All right, one more.” He then played a jokey version of The Doors’ “Light My Fire,” complete with new lyrics about the incident, and a snippet of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” before leading the band through “Come Sail Away.”
After a very brief exit from the stage, the band returned for a two-song encore, finishing up with a raucous “Renegade.”
The other co-headliner, Foreigner, then took the stage without any members that played on any of its hits for straight-ahead versions of “Double Vision,” “Head Games,” “Cold As Ice” and “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” Founding-member Mick Jones (who has been sidelined recently with health concerns) then came out for the remainder of the set, starting with “Feels Like the First Time,” showing he still has a lot of life left in his guitar at the age of 69. Utility man Thom Gimbel played a scrumptious saxophone solo on “Urgent” before picking up a flute for the Jones-led “Starrider” from the group’s 1977 self-titled debut.
Front man Kelly Hansen may look more like Steven Tyler, but he has the vocal abilities and stage presence to make most concert goers forget about original lead singer Lou Gramm (whom he replaced in 2005), and the band stretched out more once Jones made his appearance.
The set proper ended with a dramatic “Juke Box Hero,” and the band encored with “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which featured the Wyoming County Chorale from Tunkhannock, and “Hot Blooded.”