For some, the summer is a season of repose. It’s a time of relaxation and contemplation. A time when the heat forces us to put the constant, crazy, commotion of our lives on hold, in anticipation of milder temperatures. The summer of 2012, however, will not be a quiet one.

According to a press release put out by Mohegan Sun — one of the largest venues in the Northeast — for STYX guitarist James “JY” Young, this summer will be a chance to see the “mega-platinum Illinois bands STYX, and REO Speedwagon in a battle to the end of the Mayan Calendar with the Motor City Madman!”

The battle he speaks of is the recently announced Midwest Rock ‘N Roll Express tour, which is a summer concert series that is headlining three of rock ‘n roll’s greatest Midwestern artists; STYX, REO Speedwagon, and Ted Nugent. None of the groups has released anything new in a few years. The most recent was STYX’s 2010 album “Regeneration: Volume 1,” while Nugent and REO haven’t put anything out since 2007. But, for them this isn’t about promoting new material. According to, this tour is a way to “celebrate Midwest rock ‘n roll, and represent the greatest rock fans in the world.”

The Midwest Rock ‘N Roll Express is scheduled to roll out May 1, 2012, departing from Hidalgo, Texas, and is steaming on through for more than two months and 20 cities before finally ending at the Bangor Waterfront Pavilion near the Penobscot Bay area of Maine on July 8, 2012.

There’s plenty of excitement buzzing in anticipation of the tour. For the occasional person who finds himself wondering whether or not a couple of old-school rockers can still hack it, Tommy Shaw of STYX offers these words of encouragement, promising that The Express will be a “Twang Fest of screaming guitars, and big, sing-along choruses that continue to be the soundtrack for the misbehavior of our collective fan-base. In other words,” he says, “a real good time.” With poetry like that, how could it be anything but?

In the same press release that was put out by Mohegan Sun, Ted Nugent reassured us that the spirit, energy, and attitude that has been the life pulse of rock ‘n’ roll since the beginning, is more intense than ever aboard the mighty Midwest Rock ‘N Roll Express. “This is the soundtrack for the hardcore” he added.

The Express is making stops everywhere from Los Angeles all the way up to Bangor, Maine. Tickets for most locations are on sale now. So if big lights, and screaming guitars strike the power-chords of your heart in ways that sand and a hammock just can’t, check the schedule for a venue near you.

Of note, their July 7 show is in Gilford, New Hampshire, not Gilford, New York as other news sources have reported.

Last Updated on March 23, 2012