Main Street Armory
Tuesday November 12, 2019
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
If this turns out to be the last time Styx played Rochester, NY, they sure left with all guns blazing. The band returned to town Tuesday night on the strength of their latest album The Mission. Playing two 1-hour sets that encompassed the majority of the band’s huge catalog of hits and AOR gems, the band also gave a healthy dose of The Mission which went over very well with the crowd.
The band hit the stage at 8:15 to the sounds of “Gone Gone Gone” the lead off track from The Mission. The band then dove into staples “Blue Collar Man”, “The Grand Illusion” and “Lady”. The first gem of the night was “Snowblind”. Guitarist James “JY” Young made an appropriate weather reference when introducing the song which featured vocals from both him and guitarist Tommy Shaw.
Up next the band featured a trio of songs culled from The Mission. It was during “Hundred Million Miles From Home” that original bassist Chuck Panozzo made his first appearance of the night. Shaw’s collaborator on The Mission Will Evankovich also came out to play the mandolin. The band also played “Radio Silence” and “Red Storm” all featuring Shaw lead vocals. The latter also featured drummer Todd Sucherman showing his skill on the complex drum track.
The band ended the first set strong with “Light Up”. “Fooling Yourself” and “Suite Madam Blue”, the latter a gem from Equinox which featured an amazing vocal by keyboardist Lawrence Gowan.
The second set highlights were a pair of Damn Yankees songs which Shaw played alone acoustically serving as a little precursor to what many call the best song in the Styx Catalog “Crystal Ball”. From there other standouts such as “Pieces of Eight” and “Come Sail Away” would bring the show to a close.
In 2018 after not playing “Mr. Roboto” for many, many years, the band worked it into the set and it was well received. Many thought that was a one time thing but the band has kept it in the set at least for this year. The Shaw penned classic “Renegade” closed the show as it normally does.
The band lineup has remained unchanged since bassist Ricky Phillips came aboard in 2003. To be honest the band has never sounded better in the live setting. Playing together for sixteen years will make a band extremely tight and much of it is attributed to the fact everyone is truly enjoying what they do. Every band member has their chance in the spotlight. While each member is a very important ingredient to the recipe of the band I think it would be very fair to say that Tommy Shaw is the main element that holds it all together. Without Shaw aboard this band would not be as successful as they are at this junction of their career. It seems with each and every Styx tour the shows keep getting better. With a fantastic new album now under their belt I for one can’t wait to see what the band does next. There still remains a few chapters left to be written in the Styx history book.
Gone Gone Gone
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
The Grand Illusion
Hundred Million Miles From Home
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
Suite Madame Blue
Come Again (Damn Yankees Cover)
High Enough (Damn Yankees Cover)
Pieces of Eight
Rockin’ the Paradise
Too Much Time On My Hands
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John Cover)
Come Sail Away