Styx Lights-Up The Lima Veterans Memorial Civic Center!


*I want to apologize to Styx, their tour management, agency and fans. Due to a head injury and subsequent ongoing health issues this Styx article is late in its publication. I appreciate your understanding and I want to thank Amanda for her patience. I’ve included extra photos in an attempt to make-up for the delay. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

(Center): James “JY” Young.

Styx is one of the greatest American bands of all-time! Last month, the band who first burst into the music scene from Chicago in 1972 on AM/FM radio on a little known label (Wooden Nickel Records) and became instantly known with a killer tune entitled, “Lady”. Despite the tragic loss of one member, drama and legal turmoil with another former member, Styx  has moved on magnificently as they continuously perform and record music that puts a smile on your face.

I haven’t had the pleasure of witnessing of seeing Styx live since the Grand Illusion Tour with Uriah Heep in Columbus, Ohio in 1977. On this night, the explosiveness of the band was simply off the charts. This tour marked the 40th Anniversary of the release of ‘Grand Illusion’. The Lima Memorial Theater in Lima, Ohio was the charming venue for this particular night. Armed with several songs from ‘Grand Illusion’, along with new songs from their latest release, ‘The Mission’ and other tunes from their vast catalog of Classic Rock hits; Styx proved they are still a benevolent force in the music and recording industry!

I highly suggest you purchase tickets for Styx whenever they perform near you and order a copy of their new album, ‘The Mission‘. Their 2-and-a-half hour show and new album will knock your socks off!

The Lima Veterans Memorial Civic Center & Convention Center is a very nice and clean facility. The acoustics inside the Crouse Performing Hall were awesome and the atmosphere was heavy with anticipation before the show. The staff and ushers were polite, assisting those to their seats and the lobby was busy at the merch table with fans doing their Christmas shopping. An autographed guitar by the members of Styx was raffled -off after the show to one lucky winner too!

As the lights dimmed the band opened with an overture featuring the new song, “Gone, Gone, Gone from their latest release ‘The Mission‘ and the legendary rockers took the stage. Styx wasted no time awaking the nearly sold-out crowd with “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” it was a sight to see and hear. The joy on the fans and the bands faces were a instant reminder of togetherness, despite the divisiveness of the political landscape surrounding the daily news! The band followed-up with “The Grand Illusion” and “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” and it’s safe to say the band never sounded so crisp as they exploded the stage with an aura of profound musicianship and vocals.

Tommy Shaw

Guitarist, vocalist – Tommy Shaw.

As I settled in my seat, Styx drove the crowd into further bedlam with the beautiful ballad, “Lady” and the climatic build-up with the band entering into the fray was astounding. Lawrence Gowan’s keyboard intro and vocals, the bands harmonies and the power of Todd Sucherman’s drumming was a delight to the ears! Tommy Shaw introduced the next tune, “Radio Silence” from their latest release, ‘The Mission‘ and the band was flawless with the exciting new tune.

James "JY" Young

Guitarist, vocalist – James “JY” Young

The band promptly broke into “Lorelei” and this rocker definitely was performed with vigor, crisp and clean with magnificiant double-bass drum fills that oozed of decadence.  The backing vocal harmonies were incredible and the synthesizer sounds took us back to 1975 which is something sadly missing in today’s rock music overall.

Next, the band took time-out to wish guitarist James “JY” Young a “Happy Birthday” sing-along with the crowd as “JY” charmed the audience all night with his fretting of the strings and party attitude. “Man In The Wilderness” was a excursion into another stunning vocal performance by Tommy Shaw as the band joined in to relentlessly drive the tune home.

“Light Up” was a proverbial romp of fun as Styx delivered a perfect sound and festive rendition of this tune. The grit of the band was quite evident as they rocked and rolled across the venue with this fabulous song of celebration! “Locomotive” another new song was performed followed by “Suite Madam Blue” taking the band into intermission.

L-R: The Three Cosmic Cowboys – Ricky Phillips, James “JY” Young and Tommy Shaw.

Bassist, vocalist – Ricky Phillips.

As the second set began, James Young launched into “Miss America”. Like a mad man on a mission “JY” added the flair between the lead vocals and guitar mania. Watching him and the band rip through the song was exciting from beginning to end.  “Lights” was a pleasant surprise with Tommy Shaw armed with an acoustic guitar took us through whimsical little ditty with its graceful touch and superb backing vocals by the band.

Another surprise followed with the rendition Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'”. Styx nailed the song and the audiences approval rightfully so began before the song. I was in awe with “Crystal Ball” being such a grand experience between the band members orchestrating a huge sound with all of it’s epic musical moving pieces between the distinguished musicians accompaniments and vocals!

“Crystal Ball” was a delight with the band reminding fans of the past from their vast catalog of hits and colorful musical escapades.

The amazing Todd Sucherman!

Keyboardist, vocalist – Lawrence Gowan preparing to launch!

To witness Styx onstage between the lights and backdrop visuals of the concert was simply magnificent and totally pleasing to the eyes, ears and years! James “JY” Young and Tommy Shaw continue to prove their resilience throughout the decades and have maintained their excellent musicianship and writing skills. Ricky Phillips bass and background vocals delivers a stiff reminder of his pedigree of musicianship. Original bassist, Chuck Pannozo joined the band onstage for several tunes and let everyone know he’s still capable of navigating through the songs like a spring chicken. Drummer, Todd Sucherman easily ranks as one of my top 5 drummers alive today, while Lawrence Gowan tickles the ivories and sings astutely throughout the show. All systems are go for Styx!

-Jim Carver, CEO/Founder The Rust Belt

Keyboardist, vocalist – Lawrence Gowan.

Guitarist, vocalist – Tommy Shaw.

Next, Lawrence Gowan took us through the new song, “Khedive” with his progressive keyboard runs and his lightning fast fingers in a flourish style of jest conjuring of Keith Emerson. The band followed with another song from the latest release ” The Outpost” with its “Styxish” accentuations and chord progressions reminding me of a bit of “Miss America”. Loved the new song!

“Pieces of Eight” (from the same titled album) was a run through the pleasant song with its acoustic and electrical feel as the band delivered crisp clean vocals. “Too Much Time On My Hands” brought the crowd to its feet with its 1980 digitized feel and stature. Lawrence Gowan was spotlighted on keyboards and vocals as he took us through a spirited rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. “Golden Slumbers” (originally recorded by The Beatles) was another cover song with its variety and unexpected performance.

Drummer, Percussionist- Todd Sucherman

Bassist, vocalist – Ricky Phillips.

The keyboard intro of mixed chords continued in the same key signature of “Come Sail Away” light-up the audience, venue and all of Lima, Ohio much to our delight. The vocals were superb, the band was majestic, bold and unhinged with melody resolving into a brutal onslaught by the entire band later in the song. The traditional grip drummer, Todd Sucherman had two fingers wrapped in gauze and was still incredible to hear and see. Between his drum fills and the use of his two bass drums adding a total bombardment of flavorful genius to this epic song! Ricky Phillips switched to guitar as Chuck Pannozo joined with his musical brothers on bass. The finale of “Come Sail Away” is worth the ticket price alone!

The encore kept the crowd roaring for more as Styx launched into “Rockin The Paradise”, followed by “Renegade”!

The Styx performance is the best concert I’ve had the honor of attending in 2017.

Don’t miss the Styx tour as it continues in December!


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Jim Carver About Jim Carver

Jim Carver is the President of The Rust Belt Chronicles.

In 2004, Jim graduated from North Central State College with a degree in Business Information Technology. Jim developed "Rock Lines" news report online in 2010.After a trial-run of The Rust Belt Chronicles in April of 2013, Jim decided to make his dream a reality in 2014 by re-launching The Rust Belt Chronicles.


  1. Awesome concert…fun sharing the front row with you Jim—great article & review.

  2. Wow…thank you for a great show description but enough about that! Hoping your health is returning to a big 👍🏽 thumbs up and that your hoildays are enjoyed with the company of friends and family.
    Cheers, Ricky Phillips

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