Styx – Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, October 21st, 2016

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Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I was lucky enough to grow up with some of the best bands and music of my lifetime. Many of those bands have given up the ghost or might continue on but without the same sound. Styx, however, is not one of them.

Yes, like most of the bands from those days who are still playing today, you will find only two original cats in the band. Styx, led by Tommy Shaw and James J.Y. Young, luckily both of them are the guitarists, and Tommy is a main vocalist in the band. This allows Styx to continue on sounding very much as they did in the early days.
Many fans wondered the fate of Styx after longtime, flamboyant keyboardist and singer Dennis DeYoung left the band in 1984. In his absence, replacement keyboardist Lawrence Gowan stepped up to the plate and does a knock out job singing the numbers DeYoung originally did. (My editor would argue that Gowan makes Styx is an amazing show, worth seeing every single time they come to town.)

Original Styx bassist, Chuck Panozzo ,also remains a part of the act although he doesn’t get as much stage time as fellow bassist Ricky Philips does. Rickey joined the band in 2003 and plays most of the set, jumping on rhythm guitar for a couple of numbers when Chuck comes out to join the band.

On drums, Todd Sucherman holds it all together and sets the pace. Todd is an exceptional drummer who is nearly impossible to photograph behind his cymbals, hardware and microphones.

I have seen the band several times before but this was the first time we were told we could shoot the entire long set. That piece of news was fantastic, let me tell you. The music was great, and the setlist included the addition of several early tunes as well as some covers. The audience was loving it, and the set was tight – exactly what you would expect from a band who has honed their craft and has a deep catalog of tunes we all know by heart to pick from. Another great show.

Styx set list

The Grand Illusion – Too Much Time On My Hands – Fooling Yourself – Lady – Lorelei – Man In The Wilderness – I Am The Walrus (Beatles) – Light Up – Snowblind – Suite Madame Blue – Miss America – Lights – Space Oddity (David Bowie Cover) – Crystal Ball – The Khedive – Pieces Of Eight – Blue Collar Man – Medley ( You Can’t Always Get What You Want / Rocket Man / Bohemian Rhapsody – Dock Of The Bay) – Come Sail Away – Rockin’ The Paradise – Renegade

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