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Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 21, 2019    
 
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Styx - Palladium, London (UK) - 04 June 2019

When it was announced Styx would be playing a one-off London date, it was sure to have people travelling from all over to attend this special show. With no support act and an intermission half way through, this was to be an evening of high expectation since the band had not played here for eight years.

The set was a superb mixture of deep cuts, classics and songs from the well-received recent release 'The Mission'. The stage was a basic set-up of a logo back drop and Lawrence Gowan's spinning keyboard looking like a prop from the Star Trek bridge!

The rhythm section comprising of Todd Sucherman and bassist Ricky Phillips have truly locked in as a force to be reckoned with. Founding member and bass player Chuck Panozzo made his first appearance in two months, and since he was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, continues to tour with the band when he can. Seeing him enjoying playing 'Fooling Yourself' and 'Come Sail Away' was very touching.

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Gowan strutted the stage like a peacock, beckoning the audience while jumping back and forth on his keyboard like a wild man. His voice was pitch-perfect and he has brought his own style to so much of the Styx back catalogue. With 'Rocking The Paradise' and 'Come Sail Away' being the highlights, the latter had an introduction of Lawrence alone at his keyboard performing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Don't Look Back In Anger' with the audience singing along.

The double guitar act of Tommy Shaw and James Young shone on 'Blue Collar Man' and 'Crystal Ball', with faultless vocals and no backing tapes in sight. The addition of 'Mr Roboto', a song that has always divided fans, did not seem out of place, though I would have rather had 'Queen Of Spades' or 'Snowblind' if I had the choice.

The new songs from 'The Mission' slotted in perfectly and were received just as warmly as the classics. The encore of 'Renegade' with four-part harmony was breathtaking. For Styx to be this far into their musical career and to still be dazzling audiences is quite an achievement.

Ray Paul

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