Styx brought their Still Rockin’ Tour to Mystic Lake Saturday Night, and rockin’ is what they did for nearly two hours for the sold-out show. Styx brought a diverse medley of music that included a few minor songs, several hit songs, a banjo, and a hit song from 1983 that the band hardly ever played and caused a major riff between band members, eventually leading to the departure of Dennis DeYoung in 1999.
For whatever reason, Styx likes to start the show with a nonhit; tonight, they started out with “To Those” from their 2021 Album Crash Of The Crown before turning it up with hits “Blue Collar Man” and “The Grand Illusion” and finally slowing it down with “Lady” which helped pave the way for Styx to become one of the leaders in Progressive Rock/Arena Rock in the late 70s and 80s.
The next set started out with one new song, the title song “Crash Of The Crown,” as a gentle reminder for the fans, saying we still have new music for you guys, not just the classics. Let’s face it, though, that’s what everyone’s there for.
After “Crash” came a set of midtempo rockers where guitarists James (JY) Young and Tommy Shaw traded leads, although the better-known Tommy Shaw was the feature throughout the night (And rightfully so.) As aforementioned, Shaw is known not just for his work with Styx but also as a solo artist and for his time with the Megagroup The Damn Yankees, who had success in the 90s.
As much as I love watching the skill of Shaw and JY slide on the Guitar, my attention always seemed to gravitate to Dennis DeYoung’s replacement, Lawrence Gowan. Shaw mentioned Gowan, saying I like to call him the new guy, but he’s been with us since 1999; I can’t really call him that anymore. I can’t imagine playing without him now.
If you’ve never seen lead singer Gowan play, he’s like this hyper lead singer who has an amazing vocal range that puts on a he** of a show. When he’s on the keys, it’s an amazing time to watch as he’s spinning the keyboard around (how does he not get dizzy?) or playing the keyboard backward. Off the keys, he’s running around the stage, dancing, jogging from side to side. I’m pretty sure he gets a full workout during every show. I’m surprised he doesn’t pull someone from the audience to workout with him.
After the mid-tempo set that finished with “Rockin’ The Paradise,” Tommy Shaw came out solo for a bit. Shaw was talking about all the idle time during the Covid breakout. The fun times that no one had. His idle time led to him purchasing a Banjo online. Shaw explained I didn’t even know how to play the thing. Shaw, being that uber-talented musician that he is, learned to play the thing. Eventually leading to playing it on the song “Our Wonderful Lives.” Fun little song to listen to live; the song didn’t seem to fit the rest of the show, though.
Styx finally got to the meat of the show with Rockers with “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) and “Too Much Time On My Hands.”
The last song of the pre-encore set turned out to be the fan favorite and sing-a-long song, “Come Sail Away.” It was a great song, and the audience sang along with the band quite loudly. My buddy, who was with me for the show, is a huge South Park fan. Now I knew this was going to happen, and I wouldn’t get it out of my head as he sang the song like Cartman did in one of the episodes.
After leaving the stage and finally coming back on for the encore, Styx finally played “Mr Roboto,” a song they rarely played until this tour. Honestly, the song sounded great, and the fans absolutely loved it, myself included. The song has such a different sound compared to the rest of the setlist. Definitely glad it made its way on stage, though.
The last song of the night had to be “Renegade,” leaving the crowd on a high and calling for a second encore. Not this time, Mystic, Not this time.