“The Grand Illusion” and “Pieces of Eight” represent an era when Styx was at their peak. They were the band’s seventh and eight albums and cemented Styx as an arena rock headliner and a staple on rock radio.
Last year the current lineup of Styx embarked on an ambitious tour presenting the albums in their original running order. Anyone who attended the shows will attest that they were excellent interpretations of the albums, and just a great night of music.
If you missed the tour, the DVD of the event presents an excellent document of the show. It is edited well without too many camera switches, and the sound is superb. There was one limitation; you do not get to see all of the fantastic multimedia presentation behind the band. That was a matter of necessity for the only way to see the whole thing would have meant a single camera angle.
The material was challenging, but Styx made it look easy. Both Tommy Shaw and James Young did some amazing guitar work; in some places, it was superior to the original album performance. Vocally the pair sounded fantastic as well.
Lawrence Gowan had the unenviable task of handling the Dennis DeYoung parts. As a longtime Styx fan I notice the difference between DeYoung and Gowan. The two have a very different stage presence, and one has to respect Gowan’s performance both vocally and theatrically.
If you attended the shows, the DVD is a must-own. If you grew up loving these albums you will enjoy the performance and if you are a Styx fan who missed these shows watching the DVD will make you wish you had been there.