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Styx: The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight-Live (Blu-ray)

If you missed the opportunity to catch legendary rockers Styx on the magical 2010 tour playing longtime fan favorite albums The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight back to back in their entirety, well then lucky you that we have those wonderful folks at Eagle Rock supplying us with this dynamite Blu-ray documenting their concert at the historic Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tennessee on November 9th of that same year. With a full camera crew delivering magnificent visuals, a stellar audio track, and the band in fine form, this is a must see Blu-ray (a DVD is also available) of a classic band playing their two most important albums, all in one show.

I'm sure most of you already know just how important both of these albums are in the annals of rock history, so there's no need to go into that here. Needless to say that the current line-up of Styx, which features Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitar), James 'JY' Young (vocals, guitar), Lawrence Gowen (vocals, keyboards), Ricky Phillips (bass, backing vocals), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Chuck Panozzo (bass), delivers the goods in a big way here and do these classic releases justice throughout this set. In addition to the hits and FM radio staples like "Come Sail Away", "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)", "The Grand Illusion", "Renegade", and "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)", it's so great to see the band tearing into strong album cuts like "Superstars", "Queen of Spades", "Great White Hope", "Pieces of Eight", and especially show highlights such as "Castle Walls" and "Man in the Wilderness". Those last two made the show for me when I caught the band on this tour back in 2010, and they still brought chills watching them on this Blu-ray release. Tommy Shaw is a freak of nature throughout, as vocally, he's not lost a step in 30 years, and still delivers some tasty guitar work alongside the commanding presence of Young, who adds his 'heavy metal' side of the band on cuts like "Miss America", "Great White Hope" and "Lords of the Ring". And, Mr. Lawrence Gowan, who has now been with the band for quite some time, basically makes you forget all about Dennis DeYoung. This guy brings it vocally, is a damn fine keyboard player, and a great showman as well. Toss in the fine rhythmn section of Phillips & Sucherman (with original bassist Panozzo joining in on a couple of songs), and you have a rock solid outfit showing that they still have what it takes to wow an audience.

As great as this Blu-ray is, I have to say I was slightly disappointed in the high-definition quality at certain points during the show. Too many of the wide & long camera shots had a bit more grain than many other recent Blu-ray concert releases, which is a shame, as in other spots the clarity is outstanding and the colors quite vibrant. The audio track though is excellent, so you will enjoy cranking this one up on your home theater system. Throw in some fun behind the scenes bonus features as the band & crew take a look at and talk about the tour, and you have a real winner of a Blu-ray release from Styx and the Eagle Rock family.

Track Listing

  1. Intro/1978
  2. The Grand Illusion
  3. Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
  4. Superstars
  5. Come Sail Away
  6. Miss America
  7. Man in the Wilderness
  8. Castle Walls
  9. The Grand Finale
  10. Great White Hope
  11. I'm Okay
  12. Sing For the Day
  13. The Message
  14. Lords of the Ring
  15. Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
  16. Queen of Spaces
  17. Renegade
  18. Pieces of Eight
  19. Aku-Aku

Added: February 2nd 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 2087
Language: english

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