Article and photos by: Wendy Podmenik Darugar
Norfolk, VA — Rock giants Styx brought the magic to Chrysler Hall, in a rescheduled and relocated event that was to be originally held at the Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion in Portsmouth. Structural issues with the canopy at Portsmouth’s open-air venue led to the change, and the show logistically went as smoothly as possible in spite of the shift.
Both looking and sounding as great as ever, original members Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, and Todd Sucherman were accompanied by longtime- newer- members vocalist/ keyboardist Lawrence Gowan and bassist Ricky Phillips. Encouraging the audience to rise and be joyful, JY led the introductions to many true classics such as Grand Illusion, Light Up, and Rockin’ the Paradise. The evening was peppered with standing ovations as Styx completed two full sets of music with a 20 minute intermission.
Songwriter and guitarist Tommy Shaw reminisced about the creation of Crystal Ball during the second set. “Every once in a while, a whole song will come to you. When I wrote this, I was not in Styx. I was in my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. I got a call from James Young to come (audition), and to take the song with me. The song had a different ending, and I’m going to play the original ending tonight. This song became a Styx title track.” And the audience was treated with the original version of the timeless hit.
Ending the evening with a two song encore of Mr. Roboto and Renegade, Styx embodies the idea that as time passes, the music and songmanship endures and even becomes bigger than the band itself, as both young and old attendees inside Chrysler Hall sang the lyrics along with the band and were immersed in the magical experience of Styx.