STYX at Budweiser Stage 2024

The best of times were just a song away as our jukebox heroes took the stage at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage on June 14, ready to prove that rock ‘n’ roll never forgets. STYX and Foreigner, accompanied by special guest John Waite, brought their Renegades & Juke Box Heroes Tour to a sold-out crowd at at the waterfront venue, for a night of timeless rock anthems that celebrated the enduring power of their music.

Co-headliners STYX came out swinging, delivering a powerhouse performance that left the audience in awe. The setlist was a testament to their illustrious career, featuring a cavalcade of hits from their legendary discography, including the title track from their latest chart-topping album, “Crash of the Crown,” as well as classics like “The Grand Illusion,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” and “Come Sail Away.”


It was great to see 74 year-old founding member James “JY” Young take the mic for two tracks, including his concert staple “Miss America” and the newer “Crash of The Crown.”

Larry Gowan, the Scottish-born Torontonian and the band’s charismatic keyboardist, was playing to his hometown crowd, and he made sure to mention that his song, “A Criminal Mind,” had been performed many times in the city. Gowan was a force to be reckoned with, his infectious energy spreading through the venue as he danced, jigged, and ran across the stage during fan favorites like “Rockin’ the Paradise” and “Renegade.”

For me, the most poignant moment of STYX’s set was the long-awaited return of “Mr. Roboto.” While the band has played the song sporadically in recent years, this marked the first time I had witnessed it live since their 1983 performance at the CNE Grandstand. As the familiar synthesizer notes filled the air, the audience erupted in a collective wave of nostalgia, singing along to every word of the iconic track.

FOREIGNER at Budweiser Stage 2024

Foreigner, who took the stage before STYX, kept the energy high despite their concise 11-song set. Even without any original members, the current lineup, fronted by Kelly Hansen and Jeff Pilson, who have been with the band for 20 years, had the crowd eating out of their hands, belting out classics like “Double Vision,” “Cold As Ice,” “Urgent,” “Dirty White Boy” and “Waiting for a Girl Like You.”

One of the most memorable moments for local residents came when the chamber choir from Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute joined Foreigner on stage for a soul-stirring rendition of “I Want to Know What Love Is.” The young voices blended seamlessly with the band, creating a powerful and emotional performance that resonated deeply with the audience. The collaboration added an extra layer of depth and meaning to the already poignant song, serving as a testament to the unifying power of music and the impact it can have on people of all ages.

Guelph Choir FOREIGNER at Budweiser Stage 2024

Another highlight of Foreigner’s performance came during “Juke Box Hero,” when Kelly Hansen hopped on a riser in the middle of the audience, sending the energy through the roof. It was a moment that encapsulated the spirit of the evening, a celebration of the power of rock music to bring people together and transport them to another time and place.

Opening act John Waite delivered a memorable performance that spanned his impressive career, including hits from his solo work and his time with The Babys and Bad English. The crowd was thrilled to hear Waite’s renditions of “Missing You,” “When I See You Smile,” and “Isn’t It Time,” as well as a powerful performance of “Change,” the Spider song he made his own early in his solo career.



  • The Grand Illusion
  • Too Much Time on My Hands
  • Lady
  • Lorelei
  • Crash of the Crown
  • Miss America
  • A Criminal Mind
  • Rockin’ the Paradise
  • Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
  • The Best of Times
  • Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
  • Come Sail Away


  • Mr. Roboto
  • Renegade


Double Vision

  • Head Games
  • Cold as Ice
  • Waiting for a Girl Like You
  • Dirty White Boy
  • Feels Like the First Time
  • Urgent
  • Drum Solo
  • Juke Box Hero


  • I Want to Know What Love Is
  • Hot Blooded

John Waite:

  • Midnight Rendezvousn (The Babys)
  • Change (Spider)
  • When I See You Smile (Bad English)
  • Missing You
  • Every Time I Think of You (The Babys)
  • Head First (The Babys)
  • Back on My Feet Again (The Babys)
  • Whole Lotta Love / Let Me Love You Baby
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