Home Entertainment News Styx Rockets Into the NYCB Theatre at Westbury
Barbara Anne Kirshner

Styx Rockets Into the NYCB Theatre at Westbury
Barbara Anne Kirshner

by Mike Cutino
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The electrifying sound of Styx exploded at NYCB Theatre at Westbury (also known as Westbury Music Fair) on March 27, 2024, a stop along the way in their current tour.
Styx is so much more than a rock and roll band. The seven members presently include Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Chuck Panozzo, Todd Sucherman, Will Evankovich and joining them at this tour stop was Lawrence’s younger brother, Terry, on bass. Styx continues to reinvent itself and seemingly rejuvenates with each change of band mate.
Their brilliant harmonies and outstanding musicianship combined with a catalog of hit songs that transcends the test of time makes for an exhilarating concert experience. These are showmen and deliver in a big way, leaving everything they have on the stage floor.
Joy is the main ingredient that keeps this band revved up for the entire almost three hour event and their audiences are quick to feel that vibe. They meet each song with cheers, often springing onto their feet in standing ovations and dancing to the familiar, infectious tunes. The accompanying light show adds to the party switching from reds to blues to yellows to greens and occasionally strobe lighting for extra dynamic effects.
The evening blasted off with thundering bass guitar riffs and explosive percussion in the classic, Grand Illusion. That segued into Tommy Shaw’s powerhouse vocals and chilling guitar riffs accompanied by Todd Sucherman’s exhilarating percussion on Too Much Time On My Hands. Later, Sucherman delivered a dazzling drum solo that equally energized the crowd.
James “JY” Young serves as the only continuous original member of the band. He is vital to the Styx sound with his mastery at the Stratocaster and resonating vocals.

Styx at their recent NYCB Westbury Theatre concert

The iconic NYCB Theatre at Westbury with its circular revolving stage makes for an intimate setting. This is a perfect venue for charismatic Lawrence Gowan who seemed to be loving the space and taking full advantage of it by interacting with the audience, prancing around every part of it and never stopping until the final note was played.
Gowan’s vocals soared and were particularly seductive in the pop ballad Lady. Always the quintessential showman breaking all walls with his audience, Gowan gets up close and personal, taking the hands of ladies in the front row and serenading them. Mid-way through the show, Rocking in Paradise was all stop for Gowan who changed into a gold sequins jacket and sported a black hat reminiscent of a Dickens’ chimney sweep. He generated so much fun throughout the evening with his incredible energy combined with breathtaking antics on his trademark spinning piano. Gowan is so adept at the keyboard that he doesn’t miss a beat even when playing backwards.
At one point, Shaw acknowledged the appreciative crowd by remarking, “This is a dream come true for writers and musicians.” He took out his banjo and explained that he bought it during covid, learned to play it and started writing songs with it, then introduced his ballad, Days Go By. With the phrase Days go by and we laugh and cry we still have a wonderful life, one must be impressed that he wanted to send out an uplifting message even when the world shut down.
The festivities got even more spectacular upon the first measure of Come Sail Away. The audience was on their feet again and this time they created mood by holding up twinkling white lights against the black of the theatre sending a beautiful vision like lightning bugs dancing against a dark sky.
The two-encore set treated the crowd to the inspired Mr. Roboto topped off with a euphoric Renegade. Tommy Shaw presided over vocals while James “JY” Young wailed on his electric guitar.
The entire evening was a constant roller coaster ride of moods going from blasting rhythms of Crash of the Crown to a more rapturous vibe like in Beware of the Queen of Spades. The audience came away thoroughly satisfied that they got all the Styx songs that they have come to know and some newer ones that are equally as good if not as familiar.
Styx is on tour through the summer so catch them for a night filled with the very best of rock and roll performed by masterful musicians.