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Progressive Rock Concert Reviews


Live in Rockford, Illinois, June 2016

Review by Eric Meli

The Coronado Theater was built in 1927 and is a perfect setting for a band like Styx. In fact, it’s exactly the kind of theater they immortalized on their Paradise Theater album.
Styx started the show with “The Grand Illusion” and then went into “Too Much Time on My Hands.” During “Fooling Yourself” the original bassist Chuck Panozzo came out (who still plays, but not as often), which got the crowd going. “Lady” and “Lorelei” were big crowd pleasers with everyone standing and singing along. Next they did “Man in the Wilderness” from The Grand Illusion album. Lawrence Gowan (keys and vocals) chatted a little about Rockford’s very own Cheap Trick and their cover of The Beatles’ Sgt Peppers album before doing Styx did their own cover of “I Am The Walrus.” Tommy Shaw entertained the audience with an intro to “Light Up” where he encouraged everyone to light their cell phones.

Eric Meli
Eric Meli
Eric Meli

After “Suite Madame Blue,” they took a twenty minute break and came back with “Miss America” and “Lights.” Then with just Lawrence Gowan on keys and Tommy Shaw on guitar they started a wonderful cover of David Bowie's “Space Oddity” with the rest of Styx joining in about halfway through. The audience was singing along almost all night but were really loud during “Crystal Ball” Lawrence Gowan put in a keyboard solo called “Khedive of the Cosmos.” The title came from the name of a ship his father was on during the war. “Pieces of Eight” and “Blue Collar Man” really got everyone on their feet. Lawrence Gowan did a really nice tribute to Prince with a cover of “1999.” After noting that the crowd loved to sing along he went into a little of Queen's “Bohemian Rhapsody” and had the audience sing the chorus. “Come Sail Away” was a real crowd pleaser, and I also noticed that Chuck Panozzo was back out playing on that one.

Eric Meli
Eric Meli
Eric Meli

The first encore was “Rockin' the Paradise,” which was wild with confetti all over the place.  Last but not least was Tommy Shaw on stage with just his guitar doing the intro to “Renegade” as the rest of Styx joined him for the rest of the tune. The last time i saw Styx was back in the late 80s.  Even without all the original members they are still as great as ever. When you also figure a three hour show, it was well worth the ticket price. I’d gladly see them again.

Eric Meli
Eric Meli
Eric Meli
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at
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