Friday, October 29, 2010

You're Fooling Yourself...

Get up, get back on your feet.
You're the one they can't beat and you know it.
Come on, let's see what you've got.
Just take your best shot and don't blow it.
--from Styx "The Grand Illusion" album (1977)
So, taking yet another break from writing my SSJ travelogue (I promise I will wrap up that trip at some point) I took time to go down memory lane a bit last night.

Like Bon Jovi, Styx is one of those bands people call "a guilty pleasure" but not me. I just call it a pleasure. Period. I grew up on their music -- lots of memories of roller-skating parties, sleepovers and sneaking beer with my friends. Years later, a kick-ass version (if I do say so myself) of their "Come Sail Away" got me out of piano proficiency at Juilliard. No joke!

We have so many amazing venues in NYC, it's quite remarkable. Actually, the last time I saw Styx was at another landmark place, Radio City Music Hall. *sigh* Anyhoo, this was my first show at the newly restored Beacon Theatre. And it looks absolutely gorgeous. If you ever have the opportunity to go to an event there, do it! For some reason, I can't get my picture of the ceiling to post correctly, but trust me ... it's amazing.

The band's current tour is called The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight because they are literally doing both of those records in their entirety, just as they were released on vinyl in 1977 and 1978, respectively. Of course, that takes the spontaneity out of it a bit, as you know what the set list is. But that definitely doesn't detract from the great tunes.

For example, long before Jon Bon Jovi saw a documentary about DHL pulling out of Ohio, there was a truly rocking working man song. Isn't it amazing how some things just don't change?! "Give me a job, give me security. Give me a chance to survive. I'm just a poor soul in the unemployment line. My God I'm hardly alive..."

If you don't know the song, here's a clip with the original line-up. (I do miss Dennis DeYoung, I must say. But, it was a treat to have original bassist Chuck Panozzo join them on stage for a few songs!)

And, talk about the original song about being wanted dead or alive, you can't deny the absolutely powerful vocals of Tommy Shaw on "Renegade". That song never gets old. I was super-excited that my seat was about 20 feet from Tommy's mic stand. I've always liked him, both in Styx and Damn Yankees (the band ... not the Broadway musical. LOL)

All-in-all it was a fun show. Given the structure, I didn't get to hear some of my other fave songs like Lady, Lorelei, Best of Times and Crystal Ball -- though I was happy that one of the encore songs was Too Much Time on My Hands. That's always a crowd-pleaser.

And, as for the "guilty pleasure" thing and whether you like them or not ... whatever. I like a LOT of different stuff -- whether it be Shostakovich or Bon Jovi , Southside Johnny or the Dixie Chicks, The Doors or Billy Joel. Like I tweeted last night, if I actually cared what people thought of my musical choices, I certainly never would have played bassoon. #justsaying ;-)

p.s. oh yeah, and on the JoviFront ... apparently we can see where my priorities are as I have my European tour mapped out already but haven't even started packing my apartment (and I move on Sunday! LOL) By the way, looks like it will be Edinburgh, London and the two Dublin shows for me this time. Woohoo!!

ohhh...and p.s.2. The frickin' power went out at the Jukes final show in the UK last night. The band did an acoustic set for the crowd (until it was shut down by the fire marshall.) Damn, sounds like it was incredible! Argh. Next year, doing the WHOLE Jukes Eurotour!