Legends Sit In With STYX In Las Vegas

JANUARY 16, 2005

Afternoon rehearsal with Billy Preston...Photo: Daniel WIlls

Hello Friends,

Last night in Las Vegas at the Aladdin Theater, legendary keyboard/vocalist Billy Preston and architect of soul music Sam Moore joined us for an extended encore which quickly turned into a free for all love fest between us and these brilliant artists whose contributions to the American Artform include songs like "Soul Man," "Will It Go Round In Circles," Hold On! I'm Coming," as well as Preston's unforgettable contributions to The Beatles on albums like "Let It Be" and even their final rooftop performance in London.

Billy Preston was first to join us and fired the opening shot with "Get Back" and as jaded as we may have ever felt after so many years and so many shows under our belts, we were immediately swept away by his radiant aura and joy of life which lifted us to a higher place where we stayed for the rest of the evening. Next Billy went right into "Will It Go Round In Circles" which we could have played all night, it's such a groove. Billy took a bow, got a massive dose of STYX love from our fans, and then it was Sam Moore's turn. We rocked our way through "Hold on! I'm Coming," "I Thank You," and "Soul Man," which Billy could not resist coming back for. Next we did an extended version of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say?" and by that time fans were so enmeshed that suddenly there were children on stage dancing to what must have been their first exposure to soul music. It was such an organic and unusual experience we were all winging it and it was very hard to let it end and finish up with "Renegade" and say good night.

It was a night which we could never recreate, and will remember fondly as long as we live. On so many levels, from our own respect for these great artists and their contributions to history, to the sheer joy we had being amongst the music made there on the spot, to being able to share the experience with our fans, needless to say we were all a bit speechless and spent afterwards. But soon the fatigue gave way to reliving it and I can tell you I didn't get to sleep until around 6:30 AM this morning when Jeanne and I arrived home after riding back on the band bus.

To everyone who was there, thank you for making this possible. We couldn't have done it without you. Sam, Billy--you are the greatest. You turned us into giddy teenage fans and we loved every minute of it.

Now, it's our turn to get busy in the studio, not only to keep our recording on track, but to rehearse our version of "The Star Spangled Banner" and a shortened version of "Renegade" which it looks like we'll be performing this weekend in Pittsburgh at the play-off game there. We believe some portion of our performance will be aired on national television so be on the lookout!


Tommy Shaw

Previously Published on Styxworld.com