Styx has been bringing their melodic brand of hard rock to audiences since 1972. The group remains a staple of classic rock radio and they are road warriors, seemingly touring every year. Their 2014 tour found them sharing a bill with legendary former Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder. A Las Vegas stop on the tour was filmed and makes up the new DVD Styx -- Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas.
The show opens with a spot-on rendition of 1981's "Too Much Time On My Hands." Lead singer and guitarist Tommy Shaw's voice is remarkably preserved after all these years and the band's harmonies are tight. The crowd is with the band from the outset, enthusiastically singing along to this early MTV hit. Original bassist Chuck Panozzo joins the band for an excellent "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)." The group handles the song's complex harmonies and arrangements with ease, with Lawrence Gowan faithfully recreating Dennis De Young's original keyboard parts.
James "JY" Young takes the lead on a track originally sung by De Young. While his vocals are not as good as De Young's, he does an admirable job nonetheless and gives the song a slightly different feel. Shaw gives a faithful reading of "Crystal Ball," the title track from his 1976 debut with the band. A pretty song, it also features Gowan on keyboards.
Felder joins the band on guitar and vocals for a blistering "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)." Shaw, Felder and Young trade licks in this memorable version of the track that far exceeds the studio version in intensity. The show closes with potent versions of "Rockin' The Paradise" and "Renegade," the former showcasing a powerful vocal from Gowan and the latter finding the band nailing the song's a cappella intro. Panozzo returns to the stage to help close out the festivities.
In between the songs is a behind the scenes documentary with interviews with the band and crew. While these are interesting and give a look at what goes into the show, it's not something most fans will probably watch more than once. Thankfully, there is an option to watch with only the music.
The DVD is presented in 16x9 (1.78:1) Widescreen and looks great. Audio options include DTS Digital Surround/Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo. Bonus features include the ability to watch the concert without the interviews interspersed, bonus interview footage and a photo gallery.
More than 40 years on, Styx continues to deliver high-energy performances, seemingly not slowing down with age. Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas showcases an interesting set list, killer harmonies and memorable guest appearances from Panozzo and Felder. Styx fans will want to check it out.