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Robb Jeffries, Forum News Service, Published April 18 2013

Ted Nugent, Styx, REO Speedwagon crank the dial to 11

GRAND FORKS - For Josh Holt, there was no question that he would be at the Midwest Rock and Roll Express Tour stop Thursday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks.

Even if it meant driving from Wisconsin.

“It’s worth it for good music,” said Holt, an REO Speedwagon fan.

The band, along with Styx and Ted Nugent performed in front of an enthusiastic crowd of several thousand. While Holt was seeing the bands live for the first time, many fans had seen the bands live before tonight.

“I saw REO and Styx together at the Minnesota State Fair, and Styx at the Target Center (in Minneapolis),” Brandon Johnson, Grand Forks, said.

A lifelong Styx fan, Johnson said his parents were the ones that first exposed him to the band, and brought him to see them perform at the fair.

“I love them,” he said. “As soon as I found out they were coming here, I waited outside in line to get tickets.”

Johnson brought his girlfriend, Kirsten Sassen, to the concert. Despite not being as much of a fan as Johnson, she found a way to have fun.

“There’s been a lady in a gray shirt in front of us that has been really entertaining,” she said, noting the woman’s dance moves. “It’s been fun.”

Jeremy Holter and Dylan Young had both seen Ted Nugent live before, Holter in 2007 in West Fargo and Young last year in Sioux Falls, S.D.

“Mesmerizing,” Young said. “I’m more of a hard rocker, and he was great. The other show I went to in Sioux Falls had a lot more guns in the show.”

Holter agreed this performance from the hard-rocking Nugent was a bit toned down.

“He seems more sane tonight than in West Fargo,” Holter said. “But it didn’t take away from it at all. He was great.”