Film Reviews

Styx – The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight Live (Eagle Vision)

Styx axe-man Tommy Shaw has sung the phrase “Get up! Get back on your feet!” probably 12,000 times since 1977, but on this collection, it’s the only time it’s made perfect sense.

We all take an energized stroll down nostalgia lane in watching the band celebrate two of their seminal albums here. We don’t just recall the first time we heard “Come Sail Away” on vinyl or classic rock radio. No, we realize that when the band rolled a major seven with their seventh album, The Grand Illusion, they weren’t simply a “corporate” band, but rather a genuine rock band that gave their audiences their money’s worth in dynamism and showmanship.

Though bad blood keeps former frontman and ringleader Dennis DeYoung away from this 2010 gig in Memphis, Tennessee, viewers (and listeners) get a few perks to compensate for his absence: passionate takes on long-forgotten tunes like “Man In The Wilderness,” “Castle Walls” and 80 percent of the Pieces of Eight repertoire, and an appearance by longtime bassist Chuck Panozzo, whose stoic style reflects coolness when sandwiched in between Shaw and guitarist James “JY” Young on stage.

These two albums represent Styx at their most creatively cohesive, so if you don’t think you’ll be treated to a musically fulfilling experience here, then you’re just fooling yourself.

– Ira Kantor

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