Styx are a band that passed me by in the past though I’ve been aware of them. They’re a hugely influential group and are currently on their third go of things having taken a couple of breaks since their formation in 1972. This video was recorded in 2014 and features nine tracks from their Soundtrack of Summer tour.
With a sound firmly entrenched in the seventies, keyboard twiddles really ensure that, their light rock sounds come across well as they play in front of an enormous crowd who obviously wish they weren’t stuck in a seated venue. Sound quality is great and the band definitely don’t sound like they’ve aged at all – vocal performances and music are both superb. If you have the right equipment you can wrap yourself in Dolby 5.1 though it had me nodding along nicely in stereo through decent headphones.
The audience can be heard well at points, too, usually when invited to sing along by the band such as during opener “Too Much Time On My Hands”. I’ve said in other live album / DVD reviews that you need this otherwise you may as well record a “live in the studio” album.
Between each track there’s a smattering of interview footage with the band and some of their crew, generally talking about life on the road and how it’s changed over the years. Interesting, and it makes a change from the usual type of interview content. The interview footage is also available in a separate feature and the concert can be watched without them, too. Ideal after the first one or two viewings when you just want to get onto the music.
For someone who’s not really delved into the world of Styx before, this is an enjoyable introduction. A bit lighter than my usual fare, it’s none the worse for it and the songs are great to listen to. There’s also a special appearance from Don Felder (The Eagles) on the song “Blue Collar Man” which gets a huge reaction from the crowd. No surprise there. Watching him rip through a solo split between himself, James Young and Tommy Shaw is something to behold.
The gig itself runs for around an hour and is definitely rewatchable. I definitely found myself making use of the “non-interview” cut a few times.
Header photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for STYX