Concert Review: Styx Perform To Sold Out Iconic Genesee Theatre

Styx performing at a sold out Genesee Theatre. Photo Credit: © Ian Bardecki 2019
Lawrence Gowan of Styx performing at a sold out Genesee Theatre. Photo Credit: © Ian Bardecki 2019

Waukegan, IL Styx might be known for Rockin’ the Paradise, but on Saturday night it was all about Rockin’ the Genesee Theatre, as fans new and old sold out the iconic establishment. The band has been touring in support of their most recent release, The Mission, which Tommy Shaw describes it as a concept album about a mission to Mars. The album is their biggest chart-topping release since Kilroy Was Here, and for good reason – there’s a lot of great music on it, with much of it being played this evening.

The band played 2 sets, with a short 20-minute intermission in-between. The Genesee Theatre is no stranger to Styx, with several members commenting that it’s one of their favorite venues to perform. As soon as Overture started to play over the loudspeakers, the lights dimmed, and the crowd started cheering as the band then took the stage and opened the show with Gone Gone Gone, a faced paced rocker from their latest release that had the crowd cheering and clapping along. As well as playing new favorites from The Mission, like Radio Silence and The Greater Good, the band also performed their radio hit standards like Blue Collar Man (Long Nights), Rockin’ the Paradise, Lady, and Too Much Time on My Hands, just to name a few.

James “JY” Young (L) and Ricky Phillips (R) of Styx performing at a sold out Genesee Theatre. Photo Credit: © Ian Bardecki 2019

If you haven’t seen the band perform live in a while or wondering how they’re sounding some 47 years after their 1972 debut release, fear not. The band is sounding and performing better than they ever have before. The lineup has remained largely consistent since 2003, with Lawrence Gowan performing lead vocals and keyboards, Ricky Phillips on bass guitar, Todd Sucherman on drums, Tommy Shaw on vocals and guitar as well as James “JY” Young on guitar and vocals. Founding member and bassist Chuck Panozzo is still a full-time member of the band, although playing on a select few songs throughout the set. The bands energy and desire to record and continue to perform at a high level in front of their fans on stage is still as strong as it ever has been – if not more so.

Tommy Shaw of Styx performing at a sold out Genesee Theatre. Photo Credit: © Ian Bardecki 2019

As the evening started to wind down with the band closing out their second set of the night with Come Sail Away, it was then straight to the encore performance. After finishing Mr. Roboto, Tommy Shaw started right into Renegade singing the opening lyric. The crowd cheered louder than it had all evening, and as soon as the first note of Renegade hit – the confetti cannons went off, which prompted people to start dancing in the aisles and in their seats. Once it was over and the house lights came up, and fans started to exit the wonderful venue, it was nice to see that the music of Styx crossed so many generations. While there were older audience members in attendance – as to be expected, there were also a lot of younger audience members in the crowd. Proving without a doubt that while we all might grow older, the music of Styx will last for generations to come.

Gone Gone Gone
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
The Grand Illusion
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
Radio Silence
Man In The Wilderness
Light Up
The Greater Good
Rockin’ The Paradise


Miss America
Crystal Ball
The Outpost
Suite Madame Blue
Too Much Time On My Hands
(Keyboard Solo)
Come Sail Away

Mr. Roboto

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Born in Scotland, raised in the United States, based in Chicago. Ian Bardecki is a professional photographer, avid motorcyclist, reader, IT geek, gaming and comic book nerd, who was bathed in music at a young age by his mother who constantly played classical piano in their home. While she also introduced him to the Beatles and Elvis, his father forced on him Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, the local paper boy had him listening to Alice Cooper, his uncle then turned him onto KISS and his first 8 track tape, while his friends turned him onto punk music. Today, his music library ranges from Amadeus Mozart to ZZ Ward and everything in between. Hesitantly agreeing to fill in one night to photograph a concert at a local venue in San Francisco for a friend, was where the accidental love and passion for concert photography was born and hasn’t stopped growing since. As a freelance photographer, Ian has had the honor of working with various artists like, John 5, Sick Puppies, Scott Stapp, Drowning Pool, Anti-Flag and Art of Dying, just to name a few. Ian can be found on Instagram and Facebook under Center Stage Pictures.