An Evening With STYX
February 20–22 at 8 p.m.
Styx, comprised of Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips (along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo), have performed more live since 1999 than all of the previous years of its career combined. Two Super Bowl® appearances, chart-topping tours with Def Leppard, Journey, Boston, REO Speedwagon, Bad Company and many others, two more studio albums and no end in sight, Styx continues to conquer the planet, one venue at a time.
Spawned from a suburban Chicago basement in the early ’70s, Styx would eventually transform into the virtual arena-rock prototype by the late ’70s and early ’80s, due to a fondness for big rock and soaring power ballads. Early on, Styx's music reflected such then-current prog rockers as Emerson, Lake & Palmer and the Moody Blues, evidenced by such releases as 1972’s self-titled debut, 1973’s Styx II, 1974’s The Serpent Is Rising, and 1975’s Man of Miracles. While the albums (as well as nonstop touring) helped the group build a substantial following locally, Styx failed to break into the mainstream, until a track originally from their second album, "Lady," started to get substantial airplay in late 1974 on Chicago radio station WLS-FM.
The song was soon issued as a single nationwide and quickly shot to number six on the singles chart, as Styx II was certified gold. By this time, however, the group had grown disenchanted with its record label and opted to sign on with A&M for its fifth release overall, 1975's Equinox. On the eve of the tour in support of the album, original guitarist John Curulewski abruptly left the band and was replaced by Tommy Shaw. Shaw proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle for Styx, as most of its subsequent releases throughout the late ’70s earned at least platinum certification, and spawned such hit singles and classic rock radio standards as "Come Sail Away," "Renegade," "Blue Collar Man" and "Fooling Yourself.”
The band decided that its first release of the ’80s would be a concept album, 1981's Paradise Theater. Paradise Theater became Styx's biggest hit of its career, as it became one of the top U.S. rock acts due to such big hit singles as "Too Much Time on My Hands." It also marked the first time in history that a band released four consecutive triple-platinum albums. A career-encompassing live album was issued in 1984, before Styx went on hiatus, and the majority of its members pursued solo projects throughout the remainder of the decade. A re-recording of the early hit, "Lady" reunited Shaw with the band, which led to a successful reunion tour in 1996.
Today, new generations of rock fans are being introduced to the grandiose sounds of Styx through advertisements and TV shows like “South Park” and “Freaks & Geeks,” and the band wouldn’t have it any other way.