I grew up listening to Styx; they were my parents’ favorite band when they were in high school and both of their first concerts. I remember having every album on vinyl… the weird cover for The Grand Illusion always creeped me out but intrigued me. I would stare at it for hours. I’d read lyrics. I didn’t always understand what they meant or what the band was trying to say, but I remember this activity vividly. The Serpent is Rising, Equinox, Pieces of Eight and Kilroy Was Here are all staples for me.
I saw Styx a few years ago for the first time at PNC Music Pavilion. I got seats, but they were literally the very back row of the seated section. Not the best vantage point to see this band I grew up listening to. But, the concert was awesome and I had an amazing time. Lawrence Gowen, the man who replaced Dennis DeYoung in 1999, is amazing. He has so much energy, even at a distance, you could tell he loves what he does and is good at doing it.
A lot of people think I always get good seats since I’m in radio; that’s not typically true. Yes, I score meet and greets and back stage access sometimes, but usually, I don’t have access to floor or pit passes. I sit in the lower or upper level like everyone else. So this show was an unusual treat: FRONT ROW. I took my mother-in-law, who also saw them with me for the first time at PNC Pavilion and we both had a blast. This is the music that she grew up with too… a teenager in the 70s who eventually raised babies in the 80s. Styx fans cross generations. I saw older adults there and sprinkled in were my peers, and some college aged millennials, all there to see the spectacular show that Styx puts on. These guys are still killing it almost 50 years later… yes… 50 years. The band formed in 1972. And yes, the current line-up isn’t the original, but you wouldn’t know or even care if you didn’t know.
Here’s the set list along with some of my favorite Styx Pics from the show… pretty sure Tommy Shaw was posing for my benefit a few times.
Overture/Gone Gone Gone
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
The Grand Illusion
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
Rockin’ the Paradise
Suite Madame Blue
Come Again (Damn Yankees cover) (Tommy Shaw solo acoustic)
Pieces of Eight
Too Much Time on My Hands
Khedive (Lawrence Gowen keyboard solo)
Come Sail Away