Styx Carries On To Generations Old & New

Concert Review
Erie County Fair Grandstand
Hamburg, NY
Saturday August 14, 2021
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

It was that one day of the summer where multiple great concerts took place around the surrounding Buffalo area. With Billy Joel a mere five miles away and Luke Bryan out at Darien Lake, this left Styx playing a very familiar venue. While it had been sixteen years since the last time the band played the Erie County Fair Grandstand, they surely left those in the heavily attended crowd a night to remember.

The show was divided into two sets with an intermission. Truly, with the recent release of Crash Of The Crown they really had no choice but to play this type of show to satisfy the varying tastes of the bands audience. There was something for everyone whether it was the glorious new material or that treasure trove of the vast deep catalog of gold, they came to satisfy everyone they could.

They methodically mixed things up keeping the set flowing. Beginning with the leadoff track “Fight Of Our Lives” going right into the standard “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)”, then following with some seventies gems in “The Grand Illusion” and “Lady” seemed to perfectly set the tone for the show.

The band just seems to effortlessly get better as time marches on. Led by guitarists Tommy Shaw and the “Godfather” James (JY) Young, the band fired on all cylinders. Although original bassist Chuck Panozzo does show up at various shows, he was absent on this night. The band recently announced a new member in Will Evankovich. Evankovich was heavily involved with the writing and producing of the latest two Styx albums. Adding him to the current mix of keyboardist, vocalist Lawrence Gowan, bassist Ricky Phillips and drummer Todd Sucherman has solidified the sound and performance. If you look closely it seems that the band without knowing it has created a new Supergroup inside its own super group.

For me there were many highlights but the ones at the top include “Crystal Ball”, “Suite Madam Blue” and of course “Renegade”. Simply outstanding to still hear these songs and they seem fresher than the original recordings. It was great seeing Styx’ own piano man Gowan as well as Shaw command the audience throughout the night. Their little quips and anecdotes gave the show a more personal touch.

I’m not sure where Styx goes from here. They clearly have the band at the highest peak since their glory days of yesteryear. For anyone debating on seeing this tour, I would say you will only be fooling yourself if you miss it.

Set One
The Fight Of Our Lives
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
The Grand Illusion
Light Up
Too Much Time On My Hands
Man In The Wilderness
Rockin’ The Paradise
Save Us From Ourselves
Suite Madam Blue

Set Two
Red Storm
Miss America
Sound The Alarm
Crystal Ball
Crash Of The Crown
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
Lost At Sea
Come Sail Away

Mr. Roboto

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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