Styx and the Genessee Theater in Waukegan, IL was definitely an act that was memorable. This is a band I hear literally everyday on either 97.9 The Loop or any other station that plays rock music. Going to this show, I was definitely anticipated to see a new classic act in which I knew little about and never saw. However I was also worried I might be bored with it due to the fact that I’ve heard their songs countless times day after day. Not saying that as a bad thing, however when you hear certain songs over and over, which are great in the case of STYX, they do tend to get redundant. But any song or band (even my favorites category) could do that too if I listened to them enough times.
The theater itself I have always heard about but have never seen. It was a definite throwback to the more classic looking theaters of the old days. Nevertheless, it made for a great venue and produced some good sound within the space.
With no opening acts, the band kicked off and really got things going. The audience was very receptive, the band you could tell was still having fun doing what they love doing, and all in all put on a solid act.
Lead Guitarist/Vocalist Tommy Shaw was definitely a memorable and versatile performer. One of the few of the older generation of rockers whose “still got it.” However in the beginning of the show, he made the mistake of acknowledging his fans in what he thought was Waukegan, WI when Waukegan is in IL near WI. Regardless, he played off his mistake well and gave us a hell of a show.
“JY” Young on Rhythm Guitar/Vocals you could definitely tell was having a lot of fun on that stage. As one of the original members of the band, he also proved that he still had what it took to give the audience their money’s worth for what they paid to see.
Lawrence Gowan on Keyboard/Vocals was quite a remarkable musician. For someone tasked with the responsibility for filling Dennis DeYoung’s boots, he definitely delivered and even gave more than what was expected. That swiveling keyboard and his ability to go round and round while still playing was flashy but entertaining regardless.
Todd Sucherman on Drums provided the beat and the rhythm needed for the classic STYX we remember. Another solid performer.
Ricky Philips on Bass/Vocals, you could also tell was living it up on the stage and having a blast with the band and the audience. Couldn’t have asked for more on his part.
On an interesting note, another original member of the band, Chuck Ponozzo, joined the band for several of their classic hits towards the end of their set. This was definitely a treat for the audience as he more than delivered on his part for bringing some of that old sound of STYX back.
To wrap this up, this was yet another enjoyable experience. Seeing a band I grew up listening to quite a lot. Sometimes I was in the mood for them, sometimes not. However seeing them live was a totally different experience that radio can never do them full justice on. My only little gripe was the fact that there was some hamming/letting the audience singing the choruses. Thou they didn’t do it quite as much as other “older generation bands” who don’t even sing one chorus and just let the audience handle ALL of it. Here, they let the audience sing a few, then they took over which I’m definitely ok with. Other than that a good show all in all.
Reviewed by Billy DuBose on 12/29/12