Written by Dave Clements

styx-142What a memorable day this day was!

Justify wins the Kentucky Derby becoming only the thirteenth winner of The Triple Crown ever.

The Golden State Warriors win the NBA Championship the night before, having knocked out our Houston Rockets on their way to glory. The Rockets would have had the opportunity to be the NBA World Champions for the third time. The first two coming in 1994 & 1995.

What else was news worthy? Let’s see…

Joan Jett denies photographers the opportunity to photograph her set at The Woodlands Pavilion this evening for reasons that are unclear to me, however I’m sure there was some meaningful justification.Regardless, I love Rock & Rock and Ms. Jett is an R&R Hall of Famer.

Just have to add that it’s very curious to me that the headliner this evening isn’t in the R&R Hall Of Fame and Joan Jett is? For that matter, Pat Benatar has not had that honor either! What am I missing?

(Okay, my little rant is over so let’s get on to the opener)

Tesla, fortunately, as well as headliner Styx did allow us photogs the opportunity to shoot the first three songs of their sets.  As a result if you go to the HMR photo gallery you will see what I was able to capture on each.

Styx-15The opener, Tesla, is a band I had never seen before. I was surprised a heavy metal band was booked with Joan Jett & Styx.  Frankly, I wouldn’t classify either act as ‘heavy metal’ but I’m sure everyone has their own definition.  In any case, I thought Tesla was terrific and I didn’t really hear heavy metal so I’m tempted to call them heavy metal ‘lite’.  These mostly Californian musicians are tight. Their only non-Californian front man, Jeff Keith (from just up 59 in Texarkana) was extremely entertaining. His high energy, big smile and ‘I don’t take myself too seriously’ attitude was well received by this reviewer. It didn’t take me long to understand why these guys have been around for thirty years. Go see them if you haven’t and don’t been surprised if you become an instant fan.

Regarding Joan Jett’s set – I have nothing to offer. No photos mean no review. Sorry, that’s just the way it is with me. If you’re not willing to put it out there for your fans then I really have nothing to say.

Styx on the other hand were very generous with the photo ops during the first three songs. Interesting that rather than Tommy Shaw being the center of my attention photography wise it was all about Mr. Lawrence Gowan. Best guess, this was the 4th or 5th time I’ve seen the band in the last 18 years.  Gowan was always with the group yet I have never seen him be the center of attention like he was this night! He was non-stop action.  Venturing away from the small keyboard platform, he was all over The Woodlands Pavilion stage. He was in some cosmic overdrive mode that made it look like the rest of the band was in sloooow mooootion.  Of course, they were not.  They band was ON.  I’m telling you that it was just obvious that this was Lawrence Gowan’s night!

Am I wrong you serious Styx Fans; was he in a special place performance wise this Saturday night? Let me have your thoughts please.

styx-215Speaking of Styx fans Tommy asked the audience how many people were seeing them for the first time and it really looked and sounded like half the nearly full house yelled as if it was their first time. That surprised me as did the age demographic of the audience. Much older crowd and therefore much more subdued. Just my take based on what I observed. BTW I’m not saying the audience didn’t like them they were just less vocal.

Styx started their set with Gone, Gone ,Gone ,Blue Collar Man and Grand Illusion and ended with Come Sail Away,Mr. Roboto and Renegade. Though in Fooling Yourself and Too Much Time and you have a pretty terrific Styx show and they did more. Thanks guys, all of you, for a terrific night of damn good music.

Until next time, hope you keep in between the navigational buoy and continue to support live music every chance you have.