The legendary progressive-rock band, Styx, is on tour again this spring. The band is well known for their four consecutive certified multi-platinum albums starting in 1977 with The Grand Illusion. The band has changed members over the years, but Tommy Shaw, James “J.Y.” Young, and Chuck Panozzo are considered the core musicians. Drummer Todd Sucherman, keyboardist Lawrence Gowan and bassist Ricky Phillips have been with the band for 15 years or more. AXS was able to attend their sold-out show in Phoenix’s Celebrity Theatre on Feb. 22. Here are five reasons to catch this tour live.
1) Styx doesn't deviate from their original recordings
The band strives to give the fans exactly what they want. As Ricky Phillips mentioned in a recent interview, “We are big sticklers for staying on the original blueprint of how the songs were recorded. We don’t try to change them.” It was strictly an evening of Styx. There were no opening acts. They performed “The Grand Illusion” early in the show that garnered a fist-pumping fan sing-a-long that continued for the rest of the show.
2) Each member of the band is an outstanding showman
The musicians in the band are master showmen with resounding versatility. There are three lead singers in the band. Gowan, Young and Shaw took turns singing lead vocals. Gowan’s lead vocal on “Lady” was nothing short of superlative. Young had more of the upbeat songs like “Miss America.” Young’s vocals have become more powerful over the years. Shaw seemed to be the fans favorite performer since there were chants of his name coming from the crowd throughout the show. Shaw sang lead on songs that he sang on the original recordings like “Man In the Wilderness” and “Crystal Ball.”
3) The band is still writing and recording new music
The relevance of this band today was apparent with the release of a new concept album last year The Mission. Some of the songs from the album are crowd pleasers like “Locomotive” and “Gone Gone Gone.” The songs are fresh and they blended seamlessly in the set with the classics. There were also two awesome cover songs performed that included Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers.”
4) They are the best dressed band for a rock show
The entire band would get the best-dressed award with complete accessorized ensembles. Some of the jackets were removed during the show, but they still had a stellar appearance.Also, Gowan sported the best red sneakers ever.
5) Kudos for a band with great chemistry
Gowan’s keyboards were amazing as demonstrated when he took the lead on “Khedive.” This got another standing ovation from fans. A shout out to Phillips for his driving bass and his interactions with the crowd throughout the show and to Sucherman for his powerful drums keeping the band on the beat. Throughout the show, it was very obvious that the band really liked each other. It was a fun show for everyone.