Two nights ago on Feb 6, 2014 in the heart of the Silicon Valley, the great American rock band STYX performed at the newly renovated City National Civic in San Jose, and gave hundreds of long time fans exactly what they have been needing.
Starting the night out with ‘Blue Collar Man’ from their Pieces of Eight album and then flowing right into two tracks from the Grand Illusion album immediately kicked the show into gear. Scanning the audience one might be surprised to see anyone under 30, but that is one of the charms of STYX, although their music was created over 30 years ago, their appeal crosses the generation gap.
After ‘Lady’, JY calls out to the audience for their cell phone lights to help the lighting effect for ‘Light Up’ but not before he comments how he usually calls for people to pull out their lighters but in a ‘drought stricken California’ this might start an unwanted fire.
With two large projection screens on the side of the stage allowing the audience in the back to see up close and personal with the band and the one sitting in front running up to the stage to take selfie’s with STYX in the background, the patrons of the Civic were on a high. Being on the road nearly 275 days a year, STYX is a band that comes around often, but even with the fact that the they played the Mountain Winery less than 6 months ago, the crowd was just as enthusiastic as if they hadn’t seen the band in over 10 years.
About halfway through the set Tommy Shaw takes time to discuss the merits of vinyl records and takes a poll of the crowd to see who still listens to vinyl. As he stands towards the front of the stage, spotlights cut through the smoke and bounce off his guitar, sending dozens of lazar like beams back into the concert hall.
A major highlight of the night was Lawrence Gowan’s medley of a classic rock collection such as Rocket Man, Live and Let Die, Another Brick in The Wall and many more, right before leading us right into ‘Come Sail Away’ before the Encore.
STYX is my favorite type of rock band. The kind of band that loves nothing more than to get on stage and perform in front of their adoring fans. They aren’t in it for the money, They simply love to play live. It is the reason why they haven’t put out a recent album full of new music. They just can’t find the time to get into a real recording session, because they are literally always on tour.
If you missed them this time around, fret not, for they will be back in the Spring on tour with Foreigner and Don Felder, and I’m sure after that tour, they will come around with someone else, and then someone else, because that is just how they roll. In talking with Ricky Phillips last week though, he did mention that the band does want to put out a new record sometime soon, so maybe they will take a break from touring and hop into the studio this year. Only time will tell,