Styx at the Motor City Casino Sound Board in Detroit, MI

Styx delivers more than 40 years of legendary tunes and classic rock-awesomeness to the Motor City Casino’s Sound Board.

Fans have come from all over the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan to spend a very special Motown summer night with rock legends Styx.  The Motor City Casino’s iconic Sound Board, known for its massive size and impeccable acoustics is now packed to capacity and proudly sporting a “Sold Out” status for tonight’s event.  A diverse and well-behaved crowd is here tonight, ranging in ages of 20s to 70s.  They share a common desire: to “Come Sail Away,” on a musical memory of a lifetime with the current incarnation of the music heroes Styx, lead by senior member James “J.Y.” Young.  They have brought with them four decades of history, and a whopping 90-minute setlist to boot.

8:40pm and a musical prelude eases its way from the speakers, breaking the anticipatory silence of this massive venue with the instrumental prequel hardcore Styx fans instantly recognize.  A cool blue haze rolls across the scene as ghostly figures emerge from behind curtains and float across the stage, taking perspective positions for the evening performance.  Millions of ultra-bright LED lights ignite the stage, burning this moment into history (and retinas as well).  The crowd explodes as the five-member, superhero team of rock legends is now visible…Styx is here!  Guitarist Tommy Shaw, cradling his signature and vintagely beautiful Les Paul, shoots a smile and outstretched hand as key-master Lawrence Gowan moves to engage the capacity crowd.

It’s “Go-Time” and the band launches the night with “Gone, Gone, Gone,” as dueling axemen Young and Shaw spray their signature tones across the venue.  Gowan, taking to the microphone, mounts his keyboard with a boyish grin, dancing a Scottish jig to the crowd’s appreciative response.  Into “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” and a most electrical version of “The Grand Illusion,” brings our audience to life, singing along with the timeless classic.  Young takes center stage, and the microphone as he addresses the crowd.  He asks all in attendance to grab their cellphones, hold them high, and light it up (in absence of the old-school Bic).  The band obliges with a spot one version of the hit “Light Up.”  Bassist Ricky Phillips moves center stage, pounding out his fretboard magic, while legendary rock drummer Todd Sucherman works the skins hard to keep the groove smooth and tight.

And the night continues… with “Snow Blind,” “Crystal Ball,” and a memorable version of “Red Storm.”  The crowd is singing along as team Styx belts out the lyrics to “Rock In The Paradise,” “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man,)” and the iconic “Too Much Time On My Hands.”  Then we see a plot twist: legends paying homage to legends as Styx performs a classy and tasteful tribute to Queen with “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  Pushing close to the 90-minute mark, a pre-encore ruse is afoot, and Detroiters think this journey has come to an end.  But wait…there is more!   Styx delivers a trifecta of platinum proportion with “Come Sail Away,” and the mega-hit “Mr. Roboto,” (which finds the entire venue singing “Domo arigato Mr. Roboto in karaoke style sing-a-long.)  Styx brings the night to a close on an engaging and memorable performance of “Renegade.”

Styx live and in concert is a music lover’s must-see.  Visually stunning, audibly appealing, mentally mesmerizing, a double dose of classic and current Styx is just what your doctor has ordered.  Catch them on tour today!  For performance dates and locations, check the band’s official website.

p.s.  Dear Mr. Roboto,  thanks for the kick-ass night!


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About Jay Dunbar 26 Articles
Jay Dunbar is a professional photographer that enjoys wearing a multitude of hats. He is active in the commercial and stock photography arenas and currently owns and operates a Detroit based investigations firm and photography agency. Despite his many endeavors, Jay can frequently be found in attendance at your favorite concert venues, capturing breathtaking images of live performances of many genres of music. A skilled author and photographer, he could be described as a " Serial Music Journalist." Carrying the photo bug for nearly thirty years, Jay enjoys all styles of photography, testing new gear, and helping aspiring photographers, artists and models to develop their skills and learn their craft.

1 Comment

  1. You should make it clear that Lawrence Gowan isn’t NOT the voice on all those Styx songs. He’s an imposter. Dennis DeYoung is the original lead singer of Styx and writer of all those songs.

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