Classic rock hitmakers Styx will kick-off a three-month American tour in mid-January and they’ll be joined at various points in the tour by REO Speedwagon and former Eagles guitarist Don Felder. Accordingly, the band will be playing big venues like the Cajundome in Lafayette, LA, Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, AR and the North Charleston Coliseum Performing Arts Center in South Carolina for most of the tour. But Styx fans who want to see the band in a more intimate setting can do so when the band takes the stage at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix on Feb. 22.
Celebrity Theatre has long been one of Arizona’s favorite concert venues and it is not unusual for extremely popular acts like Styx to give fans a thrill by skipping the city’s arenas to play at the vaunted theater in the round where there are only 2,650 seats, none of which is more than 70 feet from the stage. Some of the big names that have graced the Celebrity Theatre stage include David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Leppard, Joe Cocker and Billy Joel.
The Styx line-up currently consists of singer and guitarist Tommy Shaw, singer and keyboards player Lawrence Gowan, bass guitarist Ricky Phillips, guitarist and singer James “JY” Young and drummer Todd Sucherman. Additionally, original Styx bass player Chuck Panozzo appears on stage with the band occasionally and remains a full member of the group. Styx ruled the airwaves in the late ’70s and throughout the ’80s with an incredible run of hits including “Renegade,” “Come Sail Away,” “Lorelei,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Blue Collar Man” “Rockin’ the Paradise” and many others.
Styx has also recently done something that most of their classic rock peers have been unable to do; they’ve released an album of all new material. Appropriately titled The Mission, the album has a loose concept of space exploration but with lyrics that can equally apply to everyday earthbound life. Filled with both the layered prog and soaring harmony vocals that Styx has always been known for, songs like the boogie-ing “Gone Gone Gone,” the Yes-recalling “The Red Storm” and album closer “Mission to Mars” all fit neatly in the Styx canon. The Mission will only be about seven months old when Styx begin their tour, so it’s likely that a few of the album’s songs will be included in the live set list.
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