From the moment Styx stepped onto the magnificent Majestic Empire Theatre stage in San Antonio, the near sold-out audience willingly time-travelled back to warm memories of Rock-n-Roll days of the past. Their opening number, "Blue Collar Man", seem to energize both the audience and band alike. Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw and James "JY" Young performed to the delighted fans who were on their feet singing and dancing. Styx bandmates took up the entire stage and engaged in some fabulous duel guitar choreography. Tommy Shaw's lead vocals and the band's harmonies were outstanding. Lawrence Gowan, keyboard player and vocalist with the band since 1999, was entertaining, full of spirit, and an incredible songster. Gowan's tireless energy is a definite asset to the band. He often left his rotating keyboard to engage the audience and get the crowd on its feet. At one point during the performance, Gowan snatched a fan's iPad and took pictures of himself and bandmates before returning it to its very happy owner. He played his keyboard from every position imaginable and although 56 years young, this Scottish-born Canadian shows no signs of slowing down one tiny bit.
Being less articulate with the audience does not take away the importance of bass player Ricky Phillips and drummer Todd Sucherman. Watching Sucherman's dominance behind the drums is impressive to say the least. Phillips showed extreme stamina and commanded the entire stage delivering solid harmonies and exhibiting impressive stage presence.
Between songs, Styx kept their fans captivated by sharing playful stories and engaging the audience in a sing-along with classic hit songs from The Who, Queen, Pink Floyd and a few others. No prodding was required to drown the theatre with the all too familiar lyrics. Unlike many concerts today, security allowed the fans to rush the stage halfway through the show and stay there throughout the remainder of the night. The band members were very generous throwing out guitar picks, shirts, and various memorabilia to the excited crowd. During the encore, confetti and streamers fell from the Majestic Empire Theatre and their final song was a high voltage rendition of "Renegade".
Although much of the evening's set list came from their "Grand Illusion" and Pieces of Eight" albums, they did perform some of their earlier tracks. The set, which began just before 8:30 pm, lasted just over 90 minutes and included the following hits:
Set list: Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) | The Grand Illusion | Too Much Time on My Hands | Lady | Lorelei | Man In the Wilderness | I’m OK | Crystal Ball | Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man | Miss America | Lawrence Gowan Medley | Come Sail Away | Encore: Rockin’ the Paradise | Renegade
Members for this show included, James "J.Y." Young (Original Styx Member) – (lead and rhythm guitar, backing and lead vocals, additional keyboards), Chuck Panozzo (Original Styx Member) – (bass guitar, backing vocals, bass pedals), Tommy Shaw – (lead and rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals, mandolin, autoharp), Todd Sucherman – (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Lawrence Gowan – (lead and backing vocals, keyboards, additional guitar) and Ricky Phillips – (bass guitar, backing vocals, additional guitar).