Styx offers full-bodied experience

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

Styx had already released “Styx: Live at The Orleans Arena Las Vegas” as a CD. But earlier this month, the classic rockers offered the visual component of that performance with a new DVD.

The decision to release the DVD is a reflection of the view that “Styx is a full body experience,” explained the group’s bassist Ricky Phillips, calling from Arkansas. “You have to see it live.”

“The audience as much of a part of the show (as the band),” said Phillips, who is joined in Styx by James Young, Tommy Shaw, Chuck Panozzo, Lawrence Gowan, and Todd Sucherman.

Audiences will get a chance to feel that full-body Styx experience when the group comes to the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford with Loverboy on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Phillips said his brother came to a recent show by Styx in New York City. Afterward, Phillips said his brother told him. “These people are totally invested in you. They have smiles on their faces,” said Phillips

“That’s what makes a show,” said Phillips.

Phillips said Styx loves their fans as well. “We’re having fun…” And they want to please their audiences.

“We do songs people know and play parts people know. We don’t reinvent songs,” said Phillips. There is a “little stretching” on some of the songs only where it fits with the spirit of the original.

“You get to hear those songs you grew up with,” said Phillips.

Styx attracts some really diehard fans, said Phillips. And some will follow them from gig to gig.

“I wonder how these people work,” said Phillips with a laugh, “and how long they have off.”

“Last night I got back to the hotel room (after a show at Red Rocks in Colorado) nd went online,” said Phillips. He saw a posting from a woman who said that night was her 247th Styx show

“It’s flattering,” said Phillips. “We are so appreciative… (that) we do something so important that people rearrange their lives for us.”

The new DVD builds upon the original CD release by including, not only visuals of the live show, but some behind the scenes and interview footage of the members of Styx. There also interviews with members of Styx’s road crew.

Phillips said it was important to let fans know about the road crew. “They are the ones who are able to make (the shows) look effortless. And they do it every day.”

“How they do it so flawlessly boggles my mind,” said Phillips, they are are the “unsung heroes.”

The interviews with the band members also provide a human face to the band.

“It’s nice especially for people who take their time and take time from their lives to include us,” said Phillips

The band does like to keep their private lives private, said Phillips. But, he said, “It’s good to share a little bit of who we are.”

“Styx: Live at The Orleans Arena Las Vegas” is out now on DVD. Styx, with special guests Loverboy, performs at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 to $95.

For more information, go to oakdale.com or StyxWorld.com

MACON, GA - OCTOBER 04:  Rock Group STYX L/R: Chuck Panozzo, Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman, Tommy Shaw, James "J.Y." Young and Lawrence Gowan. Portrait shoot at Macon City Auditorium on October 4, 2014 in Macon, Georgia.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for STYX)

MACON, GA – OCTOBER 04: Rock Group STYX L/R: Chuck Panozzo, Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman, Tommy Shaw, James “J.Y.” Young and Lawrence Gowan. Portrait shoot at Macon City Auditorium on October 4, 2014 in Macon, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for STYX)