Staff Picks: Styx performs at NYCB at Westbury
By Lee Danuff, News 12 Digital Staff
OK, so I cheated a little before I went to see Styx at NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Thursday. I was eager to see the first band to have four consecutive multi-platinum albums in the past, but I also wanted a slight glimpse into what would be in store for me. I decided to delve into some recent set lists from previous shows.
Most of the set lists I perused contained a mix of the band's solid hits from the 70s and 80s, along with sprinklings of various songs from the more than a dozen of other albums the band has released throughout the years.
So, I was a little intrigued at the announcement at the beginning of the show that the first set was going to be the entirety of the band's 16th album "The Mission," a 2017 concept album about a journey to Mars. I thought it was a bold choice, since many classic bands often choose to play from a series of past hits that is sure to invoke an audience sing-a-long. Styx wanted to make it clear it was in the present, with a progressive heavily instrumental set aimed at hardcore fans.
After a brief intermission, the band came back with their mega hits, and the crowd was eager to stand up and sing their favorite songs, including "Lady," "Fooling Yourself," and "Grand Illusion." The high-energy lead singer/keyboardist Lawrence Gowan did a fun version of Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," and gave a shout out to the Long Island "Piano Man" Billy Joel and his boat before the band segued into "Come Sail Away." It was also nice to see former bassist Chuck Panozzo come out to play on this song and a few others during the set.
The band has had its share of struggles in the past - the ousting of lead singer/keyboardist Dennis DeYoung, the death of drummer John Panozzo and the announcement of Chuck Panozzo's HIV status. However, the latest iteration of the band remains current -- and rocking. Tommy Shaw, and his signature blonde locks remain an integral part of the band - his musical prowess on guitar and vocals continue to grow and entertain. I found myself so caught up in the old songs during the second set that when I closed my eyes, I thought I was listening to DeYoung singing instead of Gowan. Equally as strong are James "JY" Young on guitar, Todd Sucherman on drums and bassist Ricky Phillips.
If you missed the band, you can still catch Styx perform at Westbury for a second show this Saturday!