I grew up surrounded by 70’s music, rocking out to Styx in my parents’ den, complete with burnt orange shag carpeting and a vinyl turntable in the corner. Fast-forward 30-plus years, and I’m assigned to cover and review Styx at Sea World Orlando. Bucket list item like you have NO idea.
The weather was beyond gorgeous, a shocking 72 degrees, breezy and pleasant, in the normally sweltering Orlando. Styx took the stage promptly at 4pm as part of the Sea World Seven Seas Food Festival Brews & Bands.
Band members include Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitar), James “JY” Young (vocals, guitar), Ricky Phillips (bass guitar), Lawrence Gowan (keyboard/vocals) and Todd Sucherman (drums), plus special guest, former bass player Chuck Panozzo.
Audience members comprised tiny super-fans under age 10 to those over age 90. Mid-way through the concert, Tommy Shaw exited the stage to play for those confined to wheelchairs, who were seated in a special section. Judging by the brimming smiles on those viewers, the gesture was highly appreciated.
Styx exceeded expectation in both performance and song selection. “Welcome to the Grand Illusion” energized the crowd from the beginning. Other standouts included “Fooling Yourself”, “Lady”, “Miss America” and Come Sail Away.” I did miss “Mr. Roboto,” but with SO many hits spanning the decades, it’s tough to include everything. Two standout covers included “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “I am the Walrus.”
When you watch a seasoned band, the fine details make an impression. The band cares about the audience (and they play to the photographers); the songs also sound just like a studio cut. Each musician meshed with the group to create an exceptional experience…and one not to be missed.
Styx will embark on a summer 2017 tour with REO Speedwagon. No doubt, I will be there!
~Kara Robinson Photography, Gotha, FL
for Ignite Music Magazine