Styx is probably the greatest pomp rock group of all times, and sure enough, one of my favourite bands of the 70s. It has always been a dream of mine to see Styx live on stage, and this November my dream came true. Of course, I couldn't wait to see them in Greece, but I had the chance to catch them in their home country, when I was in USA. Thank god, the timing was perfect!
The live show would take place in Westbury, New York, at the NYCB Theater, we were staying at a hotel in Chinatown, New York City, so we had a long way to the theater. It was cold outside, we weren't sure if we were taking the right Subway train, and fortunately, we arrived at Westbury and the theater. Did I just say that we arrived? Yes, we arrived … at the wrong theater!! We were at the Westbury Theater, not at the Theater of Westbury, where Styx would play!!! We were lucky enough though, since the theater manager called us a cab. Finally we arrived at the right theater this time – you could tell by the T-shirts the people at the queue were wearing. The doors opened one hour before the beginning of the show and the American fans of Styx had already gathered. We stood at the merchandise kiosk, and took our seats at the theater.
It was a perfect place for live concerts – amphitheatric, with the stage in the center of the circle of the seats. In this theater the seats are numbered, very close to the artists, who perform at a rotating stage. Comparisons with the venues we have in Greece were inevitable…
Very few minutes after the scheduled opening time, Styx entered the stage. It was a unique experience to see some meters away from you these distinguished musicians! James Young, Tommy Shaw and Chuck Panozzo were there, together with Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass). Unfortunately, Dennis De Young wasn't there, since his 1999 split with the band, Gowan was trying to fill his gap in vain, however, the band sounded fresh, powerful and in a very good shape.
The show was divided in two parts, the first one was dedicated to the band's latest release (“The Mission”) and the second one included the band's classic songs and hits. The latest studio album of Styx is a killer one, having all the incredients of the band's own sound, some great melodies and a fantastic work on guitars and keyboards. But the moments all of us were waiting finally came; the second part with the songs that made Styx popular all over the world. The Americans played almost all the songs from their masterpiece, “The Grand Illusion”, with “Come Sail Away” being the most touching and impressive moment. Styx performed also other classics such as “Lady”, “Best of Times”, “Too Much Time On My Hands”, “Blue Collar Man”, “Renegade”, etc.
In a nutshell, Styx performed perfectly, with a flawless sound, which helped the musicians express their musicianship and all their passion. James Young, tall, dressed in black and a smile on his face, was, without a doubt, the leader, next to him stood Tommy Shaw, who played the guitar and sang like an angel, and Lawrence Gowan was the charismatic frontman, who played his piano, sang and was in constant motion, like he was performing in a Broadway musical.
The show lasted almost two hours and ended triumphantly, with a standing ovation by the fans, who really enjoyed this majestic spectacle. We felt so nice, so warm, it was a singular experience we will never forget. It will always be in our heart, on our mind. Forever.