Dennis DeYoung made his first visit to town in a few years as he played Gratwick Park Sunday evening. He and his band played a Styx greatest hits set mainly featuring songs Dennis wrote and sang on.
Ironically he opened up with “The Grand Illusion”, the same song his old band Styx began with earlier in the week at Artpark. He wasted no time following with “Lady” as well as a wonderful version of “Lorelei”.
The next trio of songs is why people come to see DeYoung’s show as he played “Show Me The Way” and “Mr. Roboto”, both of which you will not see at a Styx show . Another highlight was his top ten solo hit “Desert Moon” a song where DeYoung sounded in very strong voice just like they way it was recorded back in 1984. He teased a quick verse of “I’m OK” as he noticed a fan wearing it on a hat before stating he will put it back on the set soon.
Guitarist August Zadra does a fantastic job recreating the part of Tommy Shaw. The other members of his band are certainly no slouches either. Guitarist Jimmy Leahey, bassist Craig Carter, drummer Tom Sharpe and keyboardist John Blasucci round out DeYoung’s current lineup. It brings into question on why DeYoung chooses to keep the Tommy Shaw sung songs in his set list. Don’t get me wrong the band plays them well but he could easily add others such as top-40 hit “Why Me”, great ballad “First Time” or many of the other lost classics that he sang on.
The Styx/ DeYoung split is one of the few instances where it’s a win win for the fans of both. Unlike some other bands where the split divides the fans I think it’s safe to say fans can see both bands and come away fans of both.
Although the set list was exactly like the Lockport show in 2011, DeYoung kept it fresh with his in between song banter where he was sometimes on the short end of the stick. Judging from the reaction of the crowd many probably didn’t even realize it.
Comparing the Styx show on Tuesday and this show, nine songs were played by both groups. Considering how many songs these bands can choose from you would think that number to be lower. In the end both bands put on flawless performances that helped to celebrate the catalog of one of the greatest bands ever past, present and future.
The show also marked the final show of the season for 2014 at Gratwick Park. Although the show seemed lighter in attendance than what I’ve seen in the past, those that came to enjoy the show did exactly that on the clean grounds and enjoyable atmosphere. Cheers till next year!
The Grand Illusion
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
Show Me the Way
Too Much Time on My Hands
Rockin’ the Paradise
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
Suite Madame Blue
The Best of Times
Come Sail Away
Special thanks to Kathy Paradowski and Tim Morchand for all their help!