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Styx shows why they are blue collar men

It was a hot, sticky and sultry night in Columbus Ohio but that didn’t stop Styx from taking the stage and rocking some great classics at the Lifestyles
Communities Pavilion.

Photo Credit: Jason Mowry ; Columbus Wired

The band that has been rocking for over 40 years opened with Blue Collar Man followed by Grand Illusion,  two of the bands marquee songs.

The near capacity crowd cheered on as the band continued the set with Too Much Time, Lady, Loreiei and other well known classics for a good hour and a half.

The trio of lead vocalists, Tommy Shaw, Lawrence Gowan and James Young took turns leading the fans down memory lane with songs such as Man in the Wilderness, I’m Ok and Crystal Ball, the song that helped propel the band to fame..

As lead signer and guitarist Shaw looked upon the crowd he made mention that he’d seen a few of us before and was glad to see some new faces too. It was a humorous banter as if to reinforce that bands longevity over the years. “How many of you are seeing Styx for the first time,” he asked the crowd. About one forth of the young and older fans cheered loudly.

Photo Credit: Jason Mowry ; Columbus Wired

Vocalist and key board player Gowan reunited with old and new friends by leading fans through a montage of songs that were popular back in the day. He also thrilled the crowd with his keyboard that he would turn in circles; sometimes stroking the keys backwards while interacting with close fans.

Ricky Phillips who joined the group in 2003 continue to add a new dimension to the sound as a bass player and back up singer.

But, Original bassist Chuck Panozzo is still rockin’ this band just as he was from the very beginning when in 1961 the band began in the basement of the Panozzo brother’s home in the south side of Chicago.

“Thank God for basements, because the Panozzo brothers had one. If they didn’t, this band wouldn’t be here, ” Shaw reminded the audience. Then the founder of Styx appeared on stage for three songs near the end of the set, including the hit Miss America and the encore song of Renegade.

Though Styx has been rockin’ for many years with the most popular songs, they kept the music fresh by presenting cuts from their first albums such as

Photo Credit: Jason Mowry ; Columbus Wired

Queen of Spades, Castle Walls and Pieces of Eight.

James “J.Y.” Young ‘brought it’, showcasing his talent as a songwriter and guitarist with Miss America.

The crowd, which included young and old, lifted their voices to sing the lyrics of all of their long time favorite tunes, while the band finished the set with Come Sail Away.

The band did not disappoint and came back on for an encore which included the Beetles song, I am the Walrus, done to perfection and the well loved song, Renegade which left the crowd wanting more.

All and all it was a stellar performance proving once again that good rock and roll never gets old it just ages like a fine wine.

By Kim Weissman
Columbus Wired

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