STYX – THE MISSION – The Palms – Las Vegas, NV – 1/20/19
Review and Pictures: Sheri Hastings
Their 1st original studio album in 14 years, Styx’s “The Mission” was released on Earth June 16, 2017. A conceptual album about a mission to Mars, took almost 2 years to complete, and was conceived at first by Tommy Shaw and Will Evankovich (song-writer, singer, producer) and presented to the other band members for a new Styx album. The project was kept very low key until shortly before its release.
Over the course of the past year and a half, Styx have been playing a few of these new tunes to anxious fans and they seemed to go over very well with the “average” audience. The subject of them playing the album live in its entirety started surfacing. Their hard-core fans were begging for it. It seemed inevitable. Then, their manager, Charlie Brusco, posted on Styx’s Facebook page, asking if they were to do The Mission live, where the fans would like to see it performed. Responses included the West & East coasts and every place in between, not to mention outside the U.S.! The idea quickly came to fruition and it was announced that the Palms’, Pearl Theatre in Las Vegas would be THE place to be!
On January 20, 2019, I felt like I was at one of my high school reunions. So many fans & friends converging from all over for this special one-time show. Some I hadn’t seen in years and some I was meeting for the first time, only knowing them thru social media. The energy in the room was so high I thought we could catapult ourselves right into outer space without a rocket. Then, the lights went dim, the band took the stage and lift off began.
For 44 exciting minutes, the band flawlessly took us on a Mission to Mars, almost like we were listening to the record. I had heard they only intensely rehearsed for 10 days, along with “tryouts” of some of the songs they hadn’t played live in the few shows prior. This was quite an accomplishment, as they had never done a concept show with sound FX and soundscapes that had to merge with the music, along with dialogue from astronauts to ground control conversations that needed to sync with the storyline and music. All done live without tracks! They then took a 20-minute break, of which I’m sure there was lots of well-deserved smiling, fist bumps and patting each other on the back by the band. They returned to the stage to play another set of their “hits”.
I know I’m not the first to say this and probably won’t be the last, but I’d say the Mission was accomplished!
James “JY” Young (Guitar, vocals)
Tommy Shaw (Guitar, vocals)
Chuck Panozzo (Bass)
Lawrence Gowan (Keyboards, vocals)
Ricky Phillips (Bass, guitar, vocals)
Todd Sucherman (Drums)
Special “Mission” guest, Will Evankovich (Guitar, Mandolin, BV, Producer, Writer)