--The Ultimate acoustic band... Saturday night STYX performed with the 97 piece Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Atlanta at a sold out Chastain Park. The notoriously tame and distracted crowd was anything but that as the band launched into the first half of their 100 minute show, performing only as the 5-member band. After the song "Fooling Yourself", the band left the stage and Tommy Shaw played an acoustic guitar solo with the help of 6500 fans clapping in time. He then pointed up into the crowd to his mother and thanked her for all the times she had to put up with bands rehearsing in her house and having to buy him guitars and amplifiers when he was growing up. The spotlights found her and she stood with her arms raised. "I love you Mama! It was WORTH IT, wasn't it!!" He shouted and then dedicated the night to her. It was quite a heartfelt moment. He then introduced "'The Ultimate Acoustic Band', The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Darryl One (also from the Chicago area)..." From the overture, a mixture of music from "Fooling Yourself", "Pieces of Eight", "Show Me the Way", and "The Grand Illusion", A.S.O. set the incredible tone for the second half of the show. "Suite Madame Blue" was spellbinding. "It was a tremendous meeting point for the two musical entities and had to bee seen and heard to be believed," Explained James Young back stage after the show. The symphony continued with "Crystal Ball", the opening to "Miss America", "Babe", "Snowblind", "Boat on the River", "Show Me The Way", "Come Sail Away", "Best of Times" and others. Jimmy Johnson, Styx guitar tech said "It was the greatest musical experience of my life." This sentiment was echoed in variations throughout the hall and around the STYX camp the next day as they prepared to perform to 9,000 fans at Starwood Amphitheater in Nashville. It seems inevitable that STYX will repeat this experience somewhere down the road, perhaps filming the evening for broadcast. All agreed, if you missed this evening, you missed the Ultimate STYX Experience...
--Last night in Nashville, near the end of the show, Dennis DeYoung, who had noticed the security being particularly strict with the audience, making them sit after the band would have them on their feet, urged the fans to get up and come forward. What had been a somewhat well behaved audience suddenly spilled forward to the edge of the stage in a total party mood. JY and Tommy went back to Jimmy Johnson and grabbed a handful of STYX guitar picks and tossed them to the fans. "They were getting really worked up and looking for something to take away," noticed Chuck. "I was amazed they didn't start unplugging the floor monitors and walking away with them!"
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