Styx Continues To Impress As Time Rolls On

Concert Review
Saturday March 23, 2024
Seneca Niagara Event Center
Niagara Falls, NY
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

When it was announced on Wednesday that longtime bassist Ricky Phillips was stepping away from the band it left Styx fans surmising exactly who would take over those duties. After all Phillips had been in the band since 2003 and other than adding in guitarist Will Evankovich back in 2021 no member had left. It made for some interesting fun guessing who would be assuming the position. Who would take over on bass? Burtnick? Would Evankovich move to bass? Would (original bassist) Panozzo take over? All was revealed in Connecticut as Gowan, no not that Gowan (Lawrence) but Terry Gowan to be exact, the brother of keyboardist Lawrence was on stage.

The core of the band, guitarist Tommy Shaw, guitarist James “JY” Young and drummer Todd Sucherman have been together since the Return To Paradise Tour. Original bassist Chuck Panozzo still plays with the band at shows when he can. On this particular evening he was on stage for a handful of songs including the encore. Lawrence Gowan came aboard in 1999 and what he brings to the band is immeasurable and Styx has been very fortunate to have him in the band. Seeing the performance of “A Criminal Mind” is a case in point. It is a song Gowan recorded back in 1985 that fits in nice and snug into a Styx set list. It is generally played when the band is near the Canadian border like they were tonight.

After an eventful couple of days Styx took to the stage at the Seneca Niagara Event Center to a packed house. The festivities began with a grandeur version of the title track culled from the band’s 1977 smash The Grand Illusion. From there the hits started to roll “Too Much Time On My Hands”, “Lady” and a gem from Equinox “Lorelei”. What a way to start the evening as the band was just getting warmed up.

Highlights included a magnificent version of “Crystal Ball” which was the song that got guitarist Shaw the gig with Styx back in 1975. A lighthearted moment occurred during the set when Shaw asked Young “if he could keep him around a while longer.” Seeing “The Godfather” of Styx perform “Miss America” from the Grand Illusion is always a treat. While some have said Styx played it safe with this set list, I beg to differ. Sure you have a ton of radio hits on here but adding in some of the aforementioned songs as well as “Our Wonderful Lives”, complete with Shaw on banjo gave the show a more diverse feel. While there were many more songs the band could have played, it was still a casino show where there are time restraints. There should be plenty more opportunities to see the band this summer as they will be playing the sheds with Foreigner and John Waite. For more on Styx including tour dates CLICK HERE

Set List

The Grand Illusion
Too Much Time on My Hands
Miss America
Crystal Ball
Rockin’ the Paradise
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
A Criminal Mind
Our Wonderful Lives
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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