Last night in Raleigh... "Welcome to 'The One Step Ahead of Hurricane Bertha' tour," Dennis announced as he greeted the thousands of fans who turned out to see STYX last night at Walnut Creek. It was true. Even as tourists on nearby outer islands were evacuating their hotels and beach houses for higher ground, the weather cleared and provided perhaps the most perfect, mild atmosphere so far on the tour. As the band prepared to start "Renegade", DeYoung shouted "Come closer!" Hundreds spilled forward from the back of the amphitheater and suddenly the already electric vibe shifted to ultra-party mode and it almost seemed as if STYX had taken on several hundred new band members. "They were singing as loud as we were," laughed Shaw, "and when I leaned over, people were strumming FOR me. I could have probably sat it out and let them finish the song!"
I Believe... As James Young introduced "Snowblind" last night, he seemed to be posessed by the spirit of a hell fire and brimstone minister gone manic. As he proceeded, the house lights dimmed and a strange red glow enveloped him. "I heard someone say they were scared," Dennis was overheard commenting in the dressing room later. "It was an inspired speech," Chuck agreed, "I don't know what came over him!"
For whom the bell tolls... This morning STYX members and support personnel opted to drive from Raleigh to Charlotte, happily avoiding another airport experience and also sidestepping any possible "Bertha" delays. Along the way someone suggested stopping at a rest stop. Standing in line at Burger King everyone noticed the Hunchback of Notre Dame toys at the counter. (B.T.W., Dennis' upcoming musical is NOT affiliated in any manner with the Disney animated film.) By the time those who had ordered their food got to their seats there was a spontaneous sideshow going on with various hand puppets. Dennis was all grins as he watched the Hunchback sing "Light Up" and "Suite Madame Blue". BK patrons must have thought the place had been over-run by escaped inmates from a local puppet asylum. Bubba the dog was eyeballing the hand puppet with other things in mind, like how chewy he looked
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