Archive for the ‘2012’ Category
My history with Styx (my Styxtory? Sorry…) isn’t really so deep and meaningful like it is with a lot of bands I see and review here, but I’ve always liked them. To be honest, I think I only owned one of their greatest hits compilations and that wasn’t until the late 90s. Maybe I owned Paradise Theater at some point, too. I don’t really remember. I also owned Tommy Shaw’s Girls With Guns CD which was quite good. They’ve been to Austin a few times since I lived here but I never had the hankering to go. When this show was announced I decided to pull the trigger. Tickets were reasonable and it was at one of my favorite venues, The Moody Theater.
One thing I do remember is that around 1981, Paradise Theater was plastered on the airwaves and you couldn’t get away from it. I didn’t consider it a bad thing. As many of you faithful readers may know, my older brother, Robert (RIP), was a huge influence on me musically and he never got into Styx and I followed suit as a little kid who watched his every move musically. When Paradise came out, I was in 5th grade and did quite enjoy what I heard from the album like Rockin’ The Paradise, Too Much Time On My Hands, Snowblind and especially Best of Times. I think it was Deyoung’s sappy and whimpy vocals which always seemed to turn me off for the most part. And their follow-up album, Kilroy Was Here, had the megahit Mr. Roboto. Who didn’t get forced to like it?
Right after buying tickets, I had asked my friend Johnette if she wanted to go and she instantly said yes. She’s a bit younger but was familiar with much of Styx’s greatest hits thanks to family members. Concert day came and we met downtown and walked to the venue. I have to say it was such a beautiful night to walk downtown in this fair city and with this fair maiden!
We got to the venue, grabbed a beer and ran into some friends there including Rick Colaluca (and his girlfriend Constance) from Watchtower, who is one of my favorite drummers and played in one of my favorite bands. We then went to our seats in the balcony, front row center of course!
Styx started a few minutes after 8PM and they went right into Blue Collar Man and then The Grand Illusion. They superbly rolled through many of their live standards like Too Much Time on My Hands, Lady, Lorelei etc. I will just go ahead and say that at their ages, it was quite nice to see how well Tommy Shaw and James “JY” Young could still belt out the high notes effortlessly. I imagine that in-ear monitors have helped a lot of our ageing rockers in recent years, but still, these guys sounded great. Lawrence McGowan, who replaced Dennis DeYoung several years ago does an incredible job sounding like Dennis and also playing the keyboards, although he is extremely showy with the spinning keyboard. Having never seen wither guitar player live, I was quite impressed with their skills. Both guys are incredibly talented. Bassist Ricky Phillips looked like he was spot on, unfortunately I really couldn’t hear much bass. His backing vocals were stellar. Doing some research I see that he played in Bad English and The Babys. Drummer Todd Sucherman was great to watch. He did a few things here and there that just made me say, “wow!” Apparently both he and Ricky make Austin their home these days.
A pleasant surprise came right before Fooling Yourself when they brought founding member Chuck Ponazzo on stage to play bass. He came back out for Come Sail Away and Rockin’ The Paradise.
I have to say that the highlight tracks for me were Pieces of Eight, Castle Walls, Crystal Ball and Man In The Wilderness. Had Best of Times been played, I think I would have shed a tear. It’s definitely one of those “time and place” kind of songs for me.
Overall it was a great show and definitely opened the door for me to go see them again. I really wish I hadn’t waited so long as their live performance was really good, although some of the stage choreography was a tad goofy. Again, their voices were utterly amazing. We both had a wonderful time and ended the night at a club with some good friends and more great music.
Life is good.
Through former bands/bandmates, friends and even MTV, Husker Du/Bob Mould/Sugar have always been in my periphery somewhat. This week I was offered a pass to see Bob Mould for his Austin City Limits taping. He’s in town to play at FunFunFunFest. Of course I wanted to go. I missed Bob earlier this year at SxSW.
While I’m not familiar with all of his material, I have owned Candy Apple Grey, Workbook, Copper Blue and Beaster since each came out. Good solid rock.
Tonight’s show was great. I was given a setlist prior to the show and got a good idea of what to expect. Lots from Copper Blue which was great. The whole band was great and the bassist provided great backing vocals. So glad I went and thankful for the free pass!
Sorry, no pics as cameras were not allowed since this was recorded for a TV broadcast.