Cue the streamers, along with a blizzard of confetti. This is Las Vegas after all, and AOR giants Styx are about to close a glitzy, hit-filled performance in style with a bombastic, rollicking version of “Rockin’ the Paradise” and a hard-charging “Renegade.” Flooding the venue in an array of colorful hues, the lighting is spectacular, and the arty visuals – five huge panels of them, no less – backing the band throughout are fantastically vivid and surreal.
Out now on DVD and Blu-ray – the CD of this show having been released in the summer of 2015 – Live at the Orleans Arena Las Vegas is a rock spectacle of sound and vision with a surprisingly short set list. As theatrical as ever, even without the dramatic gestures of former singer Dennis DeYoung, Styx roll through a celebratory “Light Up,” a profoundly affecting “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man),” a witchy, spellbinding “Crystal Ball” and a triumphant, show-stopping “Superstars” with soaring vocal harmonies, a variety of big, bold guitar fireworks and a circus of progressive keyboards, drums and bass. Tommy Shaw even takes a victory lap through the crowd at one point, soaking in the adoration while playing on. And when former Eagle Don Felder joins them to plow through “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights),” Styx reconnects with their everyman roots, even in such gaudy environs.
If only they’d left out the interviews. Bland, trite observations and commentary about life on the road with a classic-rock band are interspersed among the concert footage, and it’s all unnecessary behind-the-scenes blather everyone’s heard before. A disjointed, uninspired run through the opener “Too Much Time on My Hands” is just as forgettable. Some will find this all a bit much, and maybe it is. Nevertheless, Styx gives the people what they want, and they seem to like it that way.