The British and Americans will play nice together on this Fourth of July at the 11th annual 102.9 MGK Let Freedom Rock Fest. Pioneering prog-rock band, Yes, and keepers-of-the-flame, Styx, will deliver a one-two punch of musical fireworks.
The event is still on the river, just a different one this year. Economic situations in Camden County, N.J., have forced the festival to relocate from Cooper River Park to the Susquehanna Bank Center. A few other things will also be different this year, with two headliners and several bands playing earlier in the afternoon. It will truly be a day of rockin’ into the night.
Things start to kick off at 2 p.m., when I broadcast from the parking lot. Stop by! Andre Gardner and Ray Koob will also broadcast as the day progresses.
Doors officially open at 5:30 p.m. and, as you walk into the Walt Whitman lobby, you’ll be greeted by a group of young guys who call themselves Heroes in Error. We love these boys—I can call them that because I could be their mother! The MGK house band, Them Bones, will play the lawn stage around 6:30 p.m. They are young guys, too, and you will love both their energy and take on your fave classic rockers.
Styx should hit the stage around 7:30 p.m., and then Yes will take over at 9:30 p.m. Both headliners will do 90-minute sets.
Styx has a new EP called Regeneration: Volume 2. It’s part of an ongoing project of reworked hits from the band’s past. Volumes one and two will be on sale at the show. In the band, look for: James “J.Y.” Young (guitar and vocals), Tommy Shaw (guitar and vocals), Lawrence Gowan (keyboards and vocals), Todd Sucherman (drums), Ricky Phillips (bass), and Chuck Panozzo (bass). Panozzo is the original bass player and doesn’t play every show, but you’ll see him on the Fourth for “Fooling Yourself” and “Renegade.”
No, Jon Anderson no longer sings with Yes. And, yes, Benoît David does an extremely credible job with the vocals. Yes’ new album is titled Fly From Here. Produced by Trevor Horn, this lineup harkens back to the Drama album. Straight from bassist Chris Squire, the title tune is classic Yes length—20 minutes—and we will be treated to it at the show. You’ll also see: Alan White (drums), Steve Howe (guitar), and Geoff Downes (keyboards) of The Buggles and Asia.
Both bands love to play to Philadelphia crowds, and what better place could they be on the Fourth of July? Let freedom ring, indeed!
Tickets: $20.11-$125. Available the day of the show at the box office, and by calling (800) 745-3000 or visiting livenation.com.
Parking: $20 in the Susquehanna Bank Center lot.
More Info: Visit wmgk.com.
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