Styx at the Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach 3/26/22

Classic rock legends, Styx, bring the heat to a chilly spring evening at Hampton Beach on their 2022 world tour after a two-year pandemic delay.

Sold out signs adorned the box office at the Casino Ballroom on this drizzly spring evening in March with fans lined up from the box office around the side of the building waiting for the doors to open for a night of amazing music by Styx.  The excitement was palpable as fans from all generations continued to enter the ballroom to experience the high-energy performance that Styx brings.  Styx officially opens the 2022 season at the legendary Casino Ballroom at Hampton Beach to a sold-out crowd.  As the crowd entered, many fans made their way to the snaking line for the merch stand to commemorate this evening of music for years to come.  Supporting Styx at this stop on the tour is New England native Jay Psaros.

Singer/songwriter Jay Psaros starts the evening with an acoustic set of his original music.  Psaros released his first album in 2011 and has been touring and releasing new music steadily since then.    His set on this stop includes his 2016 tune, “Whiskey in the Rain.”  Psaros also performed his 2020 singles “Rise When You Fall” and “Zombies.”  A cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain”  was also included in the set.  The crowd sang along, with excitement.  He was well received by the crowd.  Psaros thanked fans for “being such a lovely audience tonight.”  They responded by thanking him for his strong performance with applause and cheers.  Fans were primed for Styx!

After a quick set change, the room darkened as bright blue lights came from behind the performers with founding member, James Young, in center stage as they started strong with a performance of “The Fight of Our Lives,” from their 2021 album, Clash of The Crown.  Fans were on their feet from the start and that is how they stayed for the entirety of the concert.  Styx then went in to the popular 1978 hit “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” from the album Pieces of Eight.  The crowd went wild with cheers, dancing, and singing along.

Styx has been entertaining the masses since 1972 with their unique style of rock.  They have released seventeen studio albums and four albums have gone multi-platinum.  They have garnered millions of dedicated fans over the years.  Their most recent album was released in 2021 and stayed true to their classic progressive rock sound.  Current touring members include, James Young (lead vocals, guitar), Tommy Shaw (lead vocals, guitar), Chuck Panozzo (bass, vocals), Todd Sucherman (drums), Lawrence Gowan (lead vocals, keyboards), and Ricky Phillips (bass, vocals), and Will Evankovich (guitar).

Styx continued the evening with a high-energy performance.  Lawrence Gowan was even playing the keys on a spinning keyboard.  It was a spectacle that one must see to truly experience.  Some other songs that Styx performed included the popular “Grand Illusion,” “Lady,” and “Crash of the Crown.”  As the lively song “Rockin’ the Paradise” started, the crowd shouted their excitement and started singing along.  Tommy Shaw then spoke of the inception of the band, Styx.  He stated, “without the Panazzo’s, there is no Styx here tonight.  Chuck Panazzo is in the house!”  The crowd cheered as they went into the song, “Fooling Yourself” with Chuck Panazzo on bass.

The evening continued with the fan favorite, “Too Much Time On My Hands” from the 1981 album Paradise Theatre.  Fans were dancing to the song and sang along with the chorus, “is it any wonder I got too much time on my hands” as they clapped along with the band members.  The crowd was thrilled and wanting more.  Next, Lawrence Gowan sat at the keys for a solo performance of “Kehdive,” from the 2017 album, The Mission, a song named after a ship that his dad was on in the 2nd world war.  It is a strong piece of music that he performed beautifully while the stage lights were focused on him.  “Lost at Sea” was next which led into one of the greatest and well-known hits, “Come Sail Away.”  This was met with cheers from the audience as they sang along with Lawrence in the ballad-type start to the popular song.  As the song picked up speed and strength, Lawrence stood up on the keys as he sang lead on the song while allowing the audience to sing the chorus. The lights then went down as the band said goodnight.

Fans shouted and cheered for more as the lights remained off, including the house lights.  They waited with eager anticipation for the songs to come.  The well-known synthesizer intro to “Mr. Roboto” started, yet another fan favorite.  The last song of the night was “Renegade” from the 1978 album, Pieces of Eight.  The crowd was overcome with excitement with fans dancing in the aisles!  It was an amazing performance by Styx, both musically and visually.  Styx has been entertaining us for decades and they still have IT!  Go to their website to find a show near you.  And beginning in May, they will start touring the US with REO Speedwagon.  Canadian fans, check them out in October when they start their Canadian tour.  I look forward to seeing them again soon, and you should too.

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Jay Psaros
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Casino Ballroom at Hampton Beach, NH
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