I first came to London Monday 13th June 2011 aged 25. I had no intentions of seeing any concerts in London as I was bound for Hellfest in a few days. Over my next 2 trips to Europe, I saw no gigs in England.
One of the first things I wanted to see in London was the famous London Palladium. I had discovered that Kate Bush played a few shows at the London Palladium.
When I got to the back door entrance I discovered there was a long list of stars who had performed on this very stage: Olivia Newton-John, Queen, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jnr, Bruce Forsythe.
I remember vlogging outside of the London Palladium, Lyceum Theater and the old Rainbow Theater in Islington on my first day in the British Capital.
It would take me until August 2015 to attend a concert in London. Writing my gig review of the Queensryche, Armored Saint and Death Angel concert that year opened my eyes up to writing about the concert. This is something I had hardly done in Australia.
Since I moved to the UK in 2015 I've started to catch up on seeing all the Dinosaurs of Rock in London before they go extinct again. I've been lucky to see Y&T, Diamond Head, King Diamond, Lee Aaron, Foreigner, Kim Wilde.
But when most big bands come to London, their back row seats are just way out of budget. I work 36 hours a week in London so I don't have to return to my shithole country of birth Australia. King Crimson and Toto are coming to London, but I don't feel like wanting to pay 50 quid to see them. It cost me 50 quid to go to Rome for 24 hours in 2018.
Last Saturday I was browsing through Facebook events. I scrolled past an Event. AN EVENING WITH STYX AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM.
The name Styx had stuck with me since Adulthood. I knew the name of the band, the times they were referenced on The Simpsons and even Chuck Panozzo battle with HIV and the passing of his brother John due to Alcoholism.
I never really cared much about 70's American rock bands. This was until I discovered Dream Theater in 2008. That's when I started buying so many Prog Rock bands from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
After doing a bit of research, it turns out Styx was only doing 2 shows in Europe, the back row tickets were 39 quid and the band hasn't been back in Britain since 2011.
I hadn't seen a giant Arena rock band since Foreigner at the Royal Albert Hall 12 months ago. So I jumped on the band waggon.
For the next 3 days, I started playing a lot of Styx at work. In a matter of hours, I was falling head over heels about: "Mr.Roboto", "Lady", "Renegades", "Rocking the Paradise".
On the day of the gig, I turn up at the London Palladium. It has been 7 long years since I last walked past this venue. So much has changed at the back entrance of the venue. There is no longer a red plaque to commemorate those legends who have graced this stage, but a wall of fame with imprints of a few legends that played here.
Even Sir Bruce Forsythe had his ashes buried under the stage. I was joking at work today that Bruce Ghost will be in attendance!
As the concert is an evening with Styx, there are no support acts. That goes fine with me.
The Safty Curtain went up, the stage went dark. At least 2000 fans of Styx were up on their feet.
Styx opened up the show with "Gone Gone Gone" off their latest album "The Mission" This LP only came out 2 years ago. The album was about a space trip to Mars set in the 2030s.
"LIGHT IT UP AND let's GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD"
"Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)" Tommy Shaw took over the leads on this song. Back in the day it was some songs had Shaw on Lead Vocals, other songs were Dennis DeYoung.
The Grand Illusion off their landmark album The Grand Illusion that came out 42 years ago.
When "Lady" was performed it got the crowd of 2000 singing to allot. As I was checking my phone for previous setlists of Styx. I was quite shocked BABE wasn't getting played today.
It was time for another new track. So "Radio Silence" was played next!
Mr.Shaw told us all to get our cell phone lights out as it was time for "Light Up"
Before Mr Shaw leads us all in on Boat on the River he told us about how this song was a flop in America but charted pretty high in countries like Israel, Norway, Tommy mention that he brought a Mandolin just to create this song.
A lot of people were pissed that BABE wasn't being played tonight!
"Red Storm" was performed from the new album. A lot of people were quite shocked that it took Styx so many years to create another album.
"Man in the Wilderness" This also had a snippet of Tommy Shaw doing a bit of acoustic stuff.
Tommy Shaw brought out Chuck Panozzo as the band went into "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)". It was such an honour to see Chuck Panozzo out on stage.
I've gone through a lot of adversity because of my own health for all of my life. But to see Chuck go out on stage gave the crowd a reason to give him a Standing Ovation!
At the end of the song, Rowan said its the first time he's seen Chuck out on stage in 2 months.
It was awesome to hear "Rockin' the Paradise" as this album is a really good concert album/rock opera that every fan of Rock should probably have in their CD/MP3/LP collection.
Suite Madame Blue: A Classic Styx song the band sang before taking a 20-minute interval!
During the 2nd part of the concert, there was a lot of old classic Styx songs performed. I had hardly heard any of these songs. Crystal Ball, Piece of Eight, Miss America.
"Too Much Time on My Hands" A classic Styx song that got everyone clapping and singing along. A really decent effort of Mr.Shaw!
Laurence Gowan took the Microphone to talk about his Father who served in the UK Navy during WWII on a ship called Khedive. Gowan entertained us all with Queen and Oasis covers.
Laurence was born in Glasgow but to see him back in the UK pulls heartstrings on him.
Chuck Panozzo came back out on stage during "Come Sail Away" to everyone else surprise.
As the whole band went backstage we all started pestering for an Encore.
Laurence really did justice on Mr.Roboto. He's been in the band for 20 years now. I know it was a huge saga when Dennis left but it seems to go beyond the lines of how Journey and Foreigner have had to change singers because of so much HEALTH BULLSHIT!
At work, I've been playing a lot of Renegades as its Sam's favourite Styx song. Chuck Panozzo came back on stage for one last song and to end the night on a high.
I ran down 5 flights of Fire Exit stairs to rush on the streets of London. Got a Tube and an Overground Train back home. I didn't need much sleep to go back to work.
I felt really grateful that I got to see Styx tonight. I only have my RADAR on for Heavy Metal bands. But without a band like Styx, I don't think a lot of my favourite bands would have made a benchmark from the '80s and onwards.
I just hope it doesn't take Styx another 8 years to come back to London.