Styx at Caesars Windsor Review - The Grand Conclusion

Anyone scrolling through the multitudes of music news sites on the Internet lately may have stumbled across a debate surrounding the argument that in the current state of music “rock & roll is dead”.  This mainly spawned by a comment made by Gene Simmons of Kiss bluntly stating that not only has it died, but that it was murdered.  Possibly referring to the reality that no ‘recent’ act or individual has been able to reignite the treasured musical genre in pop culture, he also recognizes that there still remains an incredibly vast market for the classic rock icons of yesterday.

Glancing out across the floor of Caesars Windsor Colosseum, it was clear to see that this was very evident.  Fans of the illustrious arena rockers Styx were there for the music as well as quiet possibly a hint of nostalgia as the band concluded their Canadian leg of the tour. The 5000-seater venue made way for the band’s slick stage design complete with a lighting and video display suited for the group’s mystical persona. More so, it gave true song writing a stage to perform.  With the crowd a mixture of both Generation X and Y, it was interesting to see how Styx’s music spoke to the two groups collectively, yet separately.

Founders James “J. Y.” Young (lead guitar) and Chuck Panozzo (bass) brought the audience back to the band’s 1972 origin. With Panozzo performing only portions of the night due to health reasons, Ricky Phillips (bass/guitar), present since 2003, lent some additional thunder to the band’s bottom end. As well, Todd Sucherman (drums) now almost two decades in, drove the Styx gauntlet through the often complex song structures with impeccable meter, flair and spot on timing.

With this incredible quartet, the spotlight definitely fixated itself on the two front men who shared lead vocals each night. The captivating voice of Tommy Shaw (guitar/vocals) teamed with the stage dynamics of Lawrence Gowan (keyboards/vocals) were truly the icing on the cake.  Since the mid-seventies Shaw has solidified his place in the band by penning some of the group’s most are recognizable hits. Songs including “Fooling Yourself”, “Blue Collar Man” and “Too Much Time On My Hands” would be unthinkable to omit from any evening’s set list.

Now, nearly 15 years since cofounder Dennis DeYoung’s departure, Gowan has electrified audiences with his expressive stage presence, vocal range and seemingly effortless keyboard chops. It was great to see the incorporation of his 1985 solo hit “A Criminal Mind” into the set as it stood up well alongside the many Styx classics.

But again, it was an evening to celebrate great song writing. From the fist-pounding “Renegade” and “Rockin’ In Paradise” to the softer “Lady” and “Sweet Madame Blue”, Styx was running on all engines.  Remember, this was the group that was once penned as a sell-out to corporate America, yet hold the only record in music history for having had four consecutive albums certified multi-platinum. Though, through multimember changes, illness and struggles with bad press, the Chicago-based rockers have managed to summon a legend of fans who have stuck by them through it all.

To learn more about Styx visit these web sites at:

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