Dennis DeYoung and the Music of STYX



I almost made a huge mistake recently…

I was tired after a long week and a busy weekend, and when someone asked me if I wanted to go see Dennis DeYoung, the former lead singer of Styx, I said no.

Thankfully I changed my mind.

The 67-year old put on a great show consisting of hits he wrote for Styx and also ones from his solo career. He played all the songs you would expect including “Mr. Roboto” and “Come Sail Away.”


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I was really impressed with what Mr. DeYoung could do on stage, especially for someone who’s probably collecting Social Security. His voice was spot on. So many rock legends lose their edge as they get older and it’s almost painful to listen to them struggle to hit the same notes they hit 40 years ago. Mr. DeYoung showed no such trouble; he sounded just like he does on the radio. It was refreshing to see in this world full of auto-tune and computerized beats.

One thing that really impressed me was Mr. DeYoung’s willingness to share the spotlight. On multiple occasions he let one of his guitarists sing lead. It also appeared that all of the musicians on stage were having a genuinely fun time. They even stopped the show to sing happy birthday to their bass player. It was great. There was also no lack of fooling around on stage amongst the musicians. When Mr. DeYoung asked one of his guitarists to play on his acoustic guitar, he started playing “Stairway to Heaven.” The crowd ate it up just like I eat ribs at the Old Country Buffet.

I had to laugh at the irony on display during “Mr. Roboto.” The song talks about how machines and technology “dehumanize” and yet many of us (including myself) were recording the song with our cell phones. Oh, the irony!


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I arrived halfway through the set of the second act, a local band called Famous Fred and the Creatures Unknown. They played mostly classic rock covers and did a good job. Their guitarist is very talented, and I admired that the band took a risk in playing The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” – a song I’ve never seen attempted by a cover band before.

Overall, it was a great concert and I would absolutely go see Dennis DeYoung again!


– Mike O’Brien