Hunnypot Does...
Powered by CircleSquareLA


Written by 

I can't begin to tell you how much I was anticipating seeing the legendary rock band Styx. In all the years I have been attending concerts (close to 40 now), I never managed to find my way into a Styx show. The band has stayed true to their roots over the years and weathered their fair share of adversity. Now, in 2020 still heavily supporting their most recent release, The Mission, they're out to show everyone that they're capable of. I was ready. Walking into the front doors of the City National Grove of Anaheim this past Tuesday, I wasn't alone. The place was teeming with upbeat fans antsy for what was soon to come. With this also being my first show of the new year, I was giddy like a toddler on Christmas!

The show began with 2017 barn-burner,  "Gone Gone Gone", which immediately set the tone for the night. Tommy Shaw and James Young tossed out the riffs as effortlessly as Halloween candy. Critically renowned Todd Sucherman (drums) exhibited a style of power and precision rarely seen these days and coupled with Ricky Phillip's holding down the bass duties, you had the bottom end on autopilot. Combining this with Lawrence Gowan's boundless energy and impeccable vocals, it was clear Styx was not messing around tonight. They quickly then jumped into 1978's "Blue Collar Man" and 1977's "Grand Illusion," and they were off and running.

This opening salvo was all the momentum needed to power the almost 3-hour extravaganza straight to the end. During the second half of the hit-loaded setlist, Styx tossed in a few surprises. Original Bass player Chuck Panozzo joined the band for a few songs,  greeted with a very gracious ovation, then held down the bottom end with class and precision.   Lawrence Gowan, who believe it or not, has been fronting the band now for 20 years, played a tribute to Neal Peart; crafting a beautiful piano-backed version of Rush's "Limelight" as an intro the classic "Crystal Ball." We were also treated to another curve-ball of sorts when Tommy Shaw executed an acoustic rendition of one of his hits from the Damn Yankees era, "Come Again." Two thumbs up!  

When the night was over, I had so many takeaways from this show I initially couldn't sort them fast enough. The ease with which this unit played their set; effortless execution, beautiful harmonies, ballads, rockers, and the memories these songs carried with them. In short, Styx played their asses off. I'm already looking forward to their next pass through town. If you have never seen them, or if it's been decades, you need to see what they're up to these days. I guarantee won't regret it.    

John McAteer

Photojournalist - Orange County

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Twitter