Tag Archives: lawrence gowan

Styx – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts Announce Co-Headline U.S. Summer Tour

We might still be in the throes of winter, but the summer tours that are getting announced are surely going to help us get to the warmer weather faster. Well, mentally at least. Check out the news about Styx and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

The Press Release:
Legendary rockers STYX and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS are teaming up with TESLA for a summer U.S. tour that kicks off May 30 in Irvine, CA at the FivePoint Amphitheatre. Tickets for various cities of the tour, produced by Live Nation, will go on sale starting Friday, February 16 at 10am local time at Livenation.com. STYX and TESLA will be offering VIP packages via their own exclusive pre-sales beginning Wednesday, February 14 at 10am local time at StyxWorld.com and Teslatheband.com. Fans can explore JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS VIP packages available at the time of ticket purchase and at VIPNation.com.

STYX: Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitars), James “JY” Young (vocals, guitars), Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass), along with the occasional surprise appearance by original bassist Chuck Panozzo—would eventually transform into the virtual arena rock prototype by the late ’70s and early ’80s, due to a fondness for big rockers and soaring power ballads. Over the course of their 40-year career they’ve released 15 studio albums, six best-of compilations and four live albums, garnering eight Top Ten singles. STYX has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Throughout their illustrious career, they’ve performed more live shows since 1999 than all of the previous years of its career combined. Two Super Bowl appearances, Pollstar box office chart-topping tours with Def Leppard, Journey, Boston, and Bad Company (to name only a few), two more studio albums. September 2, 2016 marked the long-awaited release date of STYX: LIVE AT THE ORLEANS ARENA LAS VEGAS on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Formats via Eagle Rock Entertainment. It captures the band performing in July 2014 such fan favorites as: “Too Much Time On My Hands,” Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),” “Renegade,” and more. It also includes a special surprise visit from Don Felder—formerly of the Eagles—for a rousing performance of “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights).” It was released on CD July 24, 2015. After 14 years, STYX’s sonically sweet 16th studio album and its most ambitious, most challenging, and most rewarding album to date, THE MISSION, was finally released June 16, 2017 on the band’s label, Alpha Dog 2T/UMe. It debuted on various Billboard charts, including: #6 Top Rock Albums, #11 Physical Albums, #11 Vinyl Albums, #13 Current Albums, #14 Billboard Top Albums, #16 Retail, #17 Mass Merch/Non-Traditional, #29 Digital Albums, and #45 Top 200 Albums (includes catalog and streaming).
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“Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas” by Styx

Artist: Styx
Title: “Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas”
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 7/24/2015
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Back in 2014, Styx was touring as a part of the “Endless Summer” tour that featured a headlining Foreigner and support from The Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder. The three classic acts performed to rousing response in whatever town they happened to drop in on. Since I didn’t get to catch any of the regional appearances when they happened here I was super stoked to find Eagle Rock Entertainment dishing out both an audio and video of the bands set from the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, NV. This summary speaks to the audio release only as I have not yet gotten my hands on the Blu-ray video but hope to do that soon.

Thinking back on my own personal appreciation for the music of Styx I have to chuckle at the fact that even though I’ve enjoyed them for decades now, and actually could play both “Equinox” and “Paradise Theatre” on the drums from beginning to end, they remain one of the bands that I have never, ever witnessed in concert for myself. I better get around to that before they decide that it’s time to retire but judging by the incendiary audio presentation I am currently blasting that does not seem to be something on the bands agenda anytime soon. The single CD release features twelve of the bands biggest hits such as “The Grand Illusion” which opens the set and draws you right into their musical world. It’s always been one of my favorites and usually seemed to be relegated to the closing part of their set. They follow with “Too Much Time On My Hands” from the great “Paradise Theatre” album and that was a radio hit times ten when that album came out. You young fans don’t remember the power of big radio rock stations but trust me this tune was in constant rotation. The band is joined by original bassist Chuck Panozzo during “Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)” and this seems to be a regular occurrence for the band as the musician is listed as being a part-time member. In today’s music world, the Styx band is comprised of Chuck Panozzo (guest bass), James “J.Y.” Young (guitar), Tommy Shaw (guitar), Todd Sucherman (drums), Lawrence Gowan (keyboards, vocals), Ricky Phillips (bass). The lineup has been this way for just over a decade now and that is what makes having these live releases the most interesting because you are getting the band as they are now and not during their earliest years. Trust me this is not a bad thing at all even though I grew up on the melodies of Dennis DeYoung as their singer.
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“One With Everything” [Blu-ray] by Styx

Artist: Styx
Title: “One With Everything” [Blu-ray]
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 4/21/2009
Genre: Progressive Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Originally released as a standard DVD in 2006, the advances in media technology finds this great video from Styx being released in Blu-ray format. There are no differences between this version and its predecessor in terms of overall content but the picture is clearer and brighter while the sound all the more intense. As I’ve the same opinion of the release as I did when it was first discussed I am re-presenting it to you now and then a few more words about the Blu-ray will be entertained.
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“One With Everything” (DVD) by Styx

Artist: Styx
Title: “One With Everything”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 11/21/2006
Genre: Progressive Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

The band Styx has come a long way since their debut in 1972 and since that time they have delivered some of the best Arena Rock in music history. In 2006, we find a Styx that is composed of almost entirely different members from their not so humble beginnings but at the same time they not too far from their original musical premise. The release of “One With Everything” is a great concert DVD for it is here that we find the band in rock solid form and joined by the Contemporary Youth Orchestra. Based out of Cleveland, OH, the CYO is a 115-piece Orchestra plus a 60 voice chorus and what makes them most impressive is the fact that they range in ages from 13-19. The Orchestra is conducted by Liza Grossman, who was the key factor in building this unique performance and actually is the one who contacted band Management about doing this adventure with the Styx guys. If you ask me, I felt that this idea would offer a refreshing change from the all too common “Rock Band meets Symphony Orchestra” videos as by this time almost everyone has done one. It was high time this blending of Rock and Symphony got a much needed kick in the tail to make it interesting once again. Together, Styx and the Orchestra deliver many of the bands most staple numbers as well as some new music that was written for this special sold-out concert. Lead singer, keyboardist Lawrence Gowan does an amazing job of filling the shoes once worn by Dennis DeYoung in the group while guitarist Tommy Shaw’s voice is exceptional on every track he does. I never heard JY sing, and yet on this piece he did one of my very favorite Styx numbers, “Lorelei”. Shaw, JY Young and Chuck Panozzo form the remaining three longest members though Chuck does not always tour with the band anymore. Ricky Phillips handles the bass for the most part and Todd Sucherman the drums. Sucherman is an incredible player who does justice to the drumming introduced by John Panozzo, the bands original drummer who passed away in 1996. He is both technical and powerful and shows the level of technique he brings to the table for the band best in the medley number. This is an epic piece on the DVD and it features pieces of some 16 Styx classics from across their catalog. Despite this DVD being very fun to watch I did have some other favorites and those were “I Am The Walrus” and “Fooling Yourself” along with “Renegade”.
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“Big Bang Theory” by Styx

Artist: Styx
Title: “Big Bang Theory”
Label: New Door Records
Release Date: 5/10/2005
Genre: Rock
Rating: 7.5

Styx is definitely one of the greatest arena rock bands of all time. I remember when I first heard tracks like “Lorelei” and “Come Sail Away”; these classic rockers were comparable to Progressive Rock before the term was widely used. In any case they really kicked it up a notch for Rock and Roll and their material has withstood the tests of time with some of it sounding fresh as if it were recorded today. Over the years the lineup has had some changes with lead singer & keyboardist Dennis DeYoung leaving several years ago. Drummer John Panozzo passed away while illness eventually kept bassist Chuck Panozzo from the rigors of touring. This left the band with Tommy Shaw and James Young as the only original members of the lineup. However, the two guitarists were not to let Styx and their music fall by the wayside as they filled in the spaces with some incredibly talented people. On drums came Todd Sucherman while bass would be handled by Ricky Phillips. Lead vocals and keyboards was now the task of Lawrence Gowan who is a capable man indeed in both of these areas.
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