Tuesday April 3, 2012
By Joseph Suto
Long before he became a member of Styx, Lawrence Gowan fronted his own band Gowan. He had a very successful career in Canada and other parts of the world. However, success in the United States eluded him, that is until he joined Styx. Gowan has now been a member of Styx since 1999 and the “Brave New World” Tour.
Tuesday evening Gowan returned to his homeland of Canada for four shows that featured his solo band. Along for the journey were his Styx bandmate, drummer Todd Sucherman, Sucherman’s wife Taylor Mills on vocals, Danny J on guitar, current Honeymoon Suite and longtime Gowan keyboardist Peter Nunn and Terry Gowan, Larry’s brother on bass.
The coziness of the Empire Theatre gave the show an intimate feel that was augmented with an excellent sounding show from opener, Belleville’s own Tony Silvestri until the final notes of Gowans’ “Moonlight Desires”.
Gowan is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of Great Dirty World and opened the show with “One Brief Shining Moment”. At one point during the show Gowan said “I’ve got a feeling you people will celebrate anything”, as he also dug into the old bag of tricks for a few tunes including a rare play of “Forever One” and “Dedication”. The 110-minute show also featured a grandiloquent drum solo by Sucherman, who Gowan introduced as “the world’s greatest drummer”. It was hard to argue after seeing the immense ovation Todd received afterwards.
The main set ended with the audience standing and singing along to his classic “(You’re A) Strange Animal”. As the lights dimmed, suddenly there was a single light on Gowan as he stood over his keyboard. This was the juncture of the evening, most have waited for. As Gowan started playing the familiar notes of “A Criminal Mind” the show reached its apex. The stirring rendition made the encores of “Great Dirty World” and “Moonlight Desires” seem a little less paramount.
Gowan and his band really put on a fabulous show. It was a treat to be able to witness him sing songs that he rarely gets the opportunity to perform as touring with Styx takes up much of his time. Now if only Tommy Shaw can follow suit and do a solo tour, he too, would make many people very happy.
One Brief Shining Moment
Dancing On My Own Ground
When There’s Time
Walking On Air
Keep The Tension On
All The Lovers
Awake The Giant
(You’re A) Strange Animal
A Criminal Mind
Great Dirty World
RSC would like to thank Amanda Cagan and Terry Gibson for their assistance in allowing us to review the show!!