Chicago rockers Styx returned to Caesars Windsor last night (Nov. 12) for another round-trip through the bands 45-year recording history, staying mostly with hits and popular concert favourites. They also threw in a couple from their latest album The Mission, which has quickly become the most critically acclaimed album of the band’s career.
Starting with the powerful new track Gone, Gone, Gone, the band ripped through such suitable opening show lyrics as “Light it up, let’s get this show on the road”. It was the perfect show opener and for many unfamiliar with the new album, it sounded like it could have been the opening track off Equinox or Crystal Ball.
Surprisingly this was one of the louder shows to have hit the Colosseum stage this year (second only to Megadeth), but it gave the rockers a classic stadium rock feel. It also didn’t hurt that they had a giant glowing Styx logo behind them, as well as stairs and an upper platform for the band members to climb at will.
The world is slowly losing many of its great classic rock heroes and those that are on the road now are not recording or promoting a new album. Some of them have even scaled back the effects and stage show, but Styx is an exception to the trend. The band seemed hungry for fans to hear the new material and the show felt like it was part of a big rock tour from the 70s – complete with a giant confetti storm at the end. And even though there’s up to 40 years between some of the classic hits and the new material, it all blended extremely well throughout the evening.
Vocalist and guitarist Tommy Shaw was a ball of energy and still has what seems like an everlasting passion for playing hit songs like Blue Collar Man, Crystal Ball and Fooling Yourself. His long-time partner James Young was just as powerful, as evident in his powerful vocal performance of Miss America.
Canadians had a chance to see Larry Gowan back on stage once again. It’s almost hard to imagine Styx without him at this point – he’s been a singer and keyboardist in the band for 18 years and still seems looks like he’s living the rock and roll dream. When in Canada, Styx always performs a special “Styx’d” version of Gowan’s hit A Criminal Mind and the song still hits your chest with a deep punch.
Amongst the Styx standards, the band pulled out a couple covers, celebrating some of the rock heroes who’ve recently passed away. Shaw performed a passionate version of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ and Gowan belted out a wonderful piano version of The Tragically Hip’s Courage to a cheering crowd.
While many hits were still missing from the setlist that fans were clamoring for, for the 90-plus minutes we had them here in Windsor, Styx gave us everything they had – they sounded great, looked awesome and gave us the full stage show we were hoping for. If Styx was truly on a Mission to please, it was a Mission well accomplished.
Gone Gone Gone
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
The Grand Illusion
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
Suite Madame Blue
Free Fallin’ (Tom Petty cover)
Too Much Time On My Hands
A Criminal Mind
Courage (The Tragically Hip cover)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover)
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles cover)
Come Sail Away
Rockin’ The Paradise