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Including a very nice nod to the retiring Mr. Favre (as a lifelong Bears fan, I agree on all counts)




DeYoung lights up night at Meyer


By Warren Gerds



Two recurring themes ran through showman Dennis DeYoung's chat between a slew of classic rock hits Friday night at the Meyer Theatre – his age (which he didn't disclose) and Brett Favre.


"Is this any kind of job for a guy my age?" he asked the crowd of nearly 900 (capacity 982) after sending his soaring voice through another beaut of a song.


DeYoung turned 61 last week.


He performs with style, flair, energy, discipline and fire. It's no wonder he referred to Favre time and again.


At first, that was a bit kidding. DeYoung is from Chicago. He noted in the time that Favre played, the Bears went through "350,000 quarterbacks."


He led the crowd in a cheer – "Here's to Brett Favre, hip hip hoorah, hip hip hoorah, hip hip hoorah."


At the end, turning philosophical, DeYoung talked about finding love with a person and sticking with it. "It will get you through a lot," he said. DeYoung had just danced on stage with one of his backup singers, his wife of 38 years, Suzanne.


He also said winners are losers, like Brett Favre. That didn't make sense until he followed up with, "You get up and give it one more try."


Sound entertaining? You bet. Of course, the meat of the concert was in the music. It was two hours straight of songs he wrote with Styx, with the addition of 1990's contemporary spiritual "Show Me the Way" and the soon-to-be released prayerful rocker, "One Hundred Years from Now."


The worst part of the concert was the blinding displays of light into the crowd. What's the point?


The best part was the lean guy in the black jacket, black shirt, black slacks and gray hair who strode about the stage, punctuated notes with gestures and let loose probably one of the longest notes sprung by a sexagenarian, something like 37 seconds.


With his electrifying five-man band plus two back-up singers, DeYoung performed his songs that spanned from love and sentiment ("Lady," "Babe," "The Best of Times," "Come Sail Away") to satire and social commentary ("The Grand Illusion" and "Mr. Roboto").


For "Mr. Roboto," DeYoung pulled out a mask of a robot and flashed it around for effect, and his bassist donned eerie glasses and moved with jerky motions. In the concert, DeYoung added a line to the 1983 song following "too much technology" -- "Think about it."


DeYoung's crowd did some old-fashioned things, like sing along (when asked to or not), stand up and cheer and roar mightily for an encore (which was "Come Sail Away)".


They also did new-fashioned things, like take a lot of photographs of each other and the show with their cell phones.




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