The Amphitheater in Pompano Beach in Florida was treated on Sunday night, January 7th, by the classic rock band legends Styx, who came with a bag of classic hits and harmonic voices that gave you chills up and down your spine. The group, formed in Chicago in 1972, rocked the house with classic and new songs. Their style of rock and harmonic voices have been rocking the world for over 50 years.
The only original member of the band is guitarist James Young, and was joined on by guitarist, songwriter and most underrated singer in the world Tommy Shaw, who many feel brought the band to the next level when he joined in 1975. It was a nice surprise to see original bass player Chuck Panozzo join the band for a few songs. What a great treat for the fans. Canadian singer and keyboard player Lawrence Gowan, who by far had the hardest task to replace the one and only Dennis DeYoung, did an exceptional job capturing those hard-to-do high notes, and most importantly feel of the songs. His stage presence was second to none – he rocked the house. On drums you had Todd Sucherman, who kept the band in line and tight. Bass player Ricky Phillips, who replace Mr. Panozzo, kept the beat nice and tight with Sucherman, and carried the group. His stage presence was of a true rocker with his many years of experience working with many people over the years. And finally, Will Evankovich finalized the ensemble out on guitars and backing vocals.
The shows production was top-notch with a crisp sound to bring out the harmony of Styx. The Amphitheater has an amazing large stage, far better than most I have seen. It actually made Sucherman’s drumkit look small. This allowed the band members to move around freely esp. Mr. youthful Tommy Shaw – who is 70 believe it or not – was so full of energy as he jumped and ran around the stage while the girls gazed at him with sparkles in their eyes. He looks like a kid and I wanna know his secret. When he sang “Crystal Ball”, silence hit the theater and the voice of honey brought us back to our youth. For myself, Shaw was always one of my favorite singers of all time and as mentioned, before very underrated and rarely mentioned as a premier singer. Mr. Gowan and his rotating keyboard were having as much fun as the fans as he was not shy to take center stage. His flashy clothes finalized his unique appearance. He covered all tracks of Mr. DeYoung with ease.
James Young was the icing on the cake as he has seen the Styx evolution from day one. Doing “Miss America” brought memories for me, as a kid I used to play this song with my cover band.
I cannot say how honored I was to photograph and write a review of one my favorite all time bands.