Adoring Crowd Stuck On Styx
May 18, 1991|By JOHN LANNERT, Special to the Sun-Sentinel

It had to be seen to be believed.

Styx, the slick Chicago rock act that had lain dormant for eight years, was slaughtering the raucous packed house at the Sunrise Musical Theatre.

On its feet for nearly the entire two-hour show, the cheering, singing crowd was -- by far -- the loudest, most responsive group to grace Sunrise in recent memory.

And, the frenzy and turn away of so many fans wanting to buy tickets at the door Thursday night prompted promoter Don Cohen to schedule another show on Monday.

Styx`s head honcho Dennis DeYoung was fretting a few weeks ago, wondering whether anybody would show up for the concert kicking off its first tour in eight years. He need not have worried.

Most appropriately, Styx ended its frenetic fan-mily reunion Thursday night with Not Dead Yet, a defiant, punchy rock track snipped from its latest disc Edge of the Century.

Styx, dead? Not on your life. Actually, these five heartland rockers (save poker-faced bassist Chuck Panozzo) could not have been more wired.

DeYoung, along with exuberant guitarists/vocalists James ``JY`` Young and Glen Burtnik were constantly hopscotching around the stage, flashing come- hither smiles and winks to another generation of female fans.

Holding down the rhythmic fort was Chuck`s brother John, who pounded the skins with an open-mouthed grimace that suggested he was going to pass out any minute. Happily, he did not.

Perhaps most noteworthy about Styx`s inaugural comeback concert was the fluid, near-flawless musical and stage production. After a long layoff, plus the addition of a new member, Styx still was hitting on all musical cylinders, brilliantly integrating old and new material with old and new singers.

The spartan set and shadowy lighting effects were sparse, but effective; suspended concrete-looking pillars floated aloofly behind the stage, often resembling stark medieval towers as the spotlights periodically streaked in from above.

True, the always expressive DeYoung, who sported a spiffy new curly-haired perm, did spread on the theatrical body language too thickly, at times. But apart from Burtnik`s ho-hum treatment of the Beatles` You`ve Got to Hide Your Love Away and the inexplicable abortion of what appeared to be a rendition of Mr. Roboto, Styx could have performed no better.

The friendly group not only drew deafening roars for embraceable fan favorites (Babe, Lady, Come Sail Away), but also garnered robust applause for fresh entries such as World Tonite, All in a Day`s Work, and the overlooked first single, Love Is the Ritual.

It could not have been a more triumphant stage return for Styx -- a shoot- down-the-middle rock band traditionally ignored by critics, but adored by fans. And for Styx`s enthralled following, the band`s absence did make their hearts grow fonder -- extremely fonder.

John Lannert, a free-lance writer based in Coconut Grove, specializes in music.



Repeat show scheduled 8 p.m. Monday at Sunrise Musical Theatre, 5555 NW 95th Ave. Tickets are $19.75 and $22.75 plus service charge. Call Ticketmaster 523-3309 (Broward), 358-5885 (Dade).


Source 5/18/1991

Line Up Dennis DeYoung, James "JY" Young, Glenn Burtnik, Chuck Panozzo, John Panozzo


Type Review
Performance Date 5/16/1991
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