by Frank Lucas - Chicago Music Guide

Photos © 2016 by: Rob Olewinski

The moment Styx stepped onstage was the moment loyal fans were ready to blow the roof off the place with energy and excitement. We, the audience, were assaulted with the legendary, sonic majesty of synths, organs and guitars making for a most theatrical introduction into “The Grand Illusion.”

Like a god of thunder, drummer Todd Sucherman played the introductory cadence first on the snare then eventually with octopus arms around the entire kit with great fire and dexterity. Keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan played his flashy keyboard parts to perfection despite jumping around, engaging and fully interacting with the audience and spinning his amazing, custom spinning keyboard stand sometimes forwards and sometimes even backwards. Guitarists/vocalists Tommy Shaw and James “JY” Young worked the crowd all over the stage, atop risers and crisscrossed stairs while throwing guitar picks at the screaming fans.

The first three songs of the set; “The Grand Illusion”, “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” clearly landed a haymaker with the rowdy crowd as they sang just about every word with fists pumping in the air. STYX always pride themselves on playing fan favorites which resonate and connect with the masses. The third song in this lineup featured original bassist Chuck Panozzo making a guest appearance much to the rousing delight of all present.

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