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Live Gig Review: Styx

Styx play 2003 Super Bowl pre-game show

Photo by Rebecca Butala / Getty Images

The crowd leaving the event center this hot July night was a mixed lot. Kids with their grandparents, teenagers, young families and lots and lots of boomers. There are not that many bands still on the road that can draw this kind of group. But draw them Styx did, because there wasn’t an empty seat in the house.

The band has been dealt a few bad hands and has reshuffled the deck over the years. Dennis DeYoung left due to physical problems, John Panozzo died in 1996 of complications from alcoholism, Chuck Panozzo has been fighting both AIDS and prostate cancer and James Young’s wife recently had a life-threatening medical emergency. The current incarnation has James (JY) Young, Tommy Shaw, Lawrence Gowan on keyboards (since 1999), Todd Sucherman on drums (since John Panozzo’s death) and Ricky Phillips on bass as of 2003.

The show started with a medley of “Borrowed Time” from Cornerstone, “Superstars” from The Grand Illusion, “Mr. Roboto” from Kilroy Was Here, “Rockin’ the Paradise” from Paradise Theatre and “Pieces of Eight” from the album of the same name. Then it was straight into “The Grand Illusion” and “Blue Collar Man”.

Okay so maybe they weren’t running back and forth as much as they used to, the tempos were a bit slower than the studio versions, some of the facial hair was showing a bit of gray and perhaps a few of their hair hats were slipping a bit, but still. Styx can wipe the stage with most bands half their age.

And maybe the audience was also showing a bit more gray and/or scalp skin, the lighters being flicked on were on BlackBerrys because smoking had been given up years ago, and some might have had back pain from standing for the one and half hours the concert lasted, but still. As Tommy Shaw said, “We kinda grew up together, didn’t we?”

Photo by Doug Pensinger / Getty Images


August 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Props Homie!

    Comment by Patrick | August 24, 2010 | Reply

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