Saturday, May 21, 2016

STYX and STONES...two bands I've seen this year

 Had a delightful "flashback" to the 1970s and 80s last night.

Went to see STYX at the Volvo Car Stadium and it was a good memory-flogger of my graduating from college back in 1968.

Man...that was a long time ago... as they acknowledged. Often.

We were warned there was a chance of rain and this out of doors (tennis courts) does not allow you to bring in umbrellas.

No worry, I found some bright-colored rain ponchos and was all set to stay dry if the heavens opened.

The only "weather" we had was a fog bank suddenly rolling in and carpeting the stage. That happened several times.

The opener was Don Felder, a 21-year veteran with The Eagles, and his talented band.

They reprised many hits from his "Hotel California" days as daylight faded to dark.

The moon was visible behind the clouds but no rain fell.

Obviously, it was an older crowd but many stood for most of the performance.

I sat down ever so often but jumped up - well, stood - when a song started that I remembered from so long ago.

 One such song, from 1975, was "Light Up."

Well, OK, maybe I didn't remember the actual lyrics but the crowd reaction was really cool.

We were reminded that "back in the day," Zippo lighters were to be flicked on and held aloft.

I saw only a few flickering flames but "everybody" had a Smartphone!

And Tommy Shaw was his energetic self, bounding around the stage and up and down the stairs to the elevated platform.

At one point he stood and played next to James "J.Y." Young and quipped, "I'm not short..he's tall."

And that rotating metal piano!

Lawrence Gowan owned it, played it, spun it and was having a grand time.

I had looked away and was nudged to see that now Gowan was standing on it, his right arm raised.

It spun so easily, I am sure there was a locking mechanism that held it steady for his climb.

Throughout the show, the piano stool appeared and then quickly disappeared on cue.

Part of the band's clever choreography.

Let's take a closer look at how the raised backdrop was used.

Don't recall a recent outdoor concert that offered several levels.

"A Night With Janis Joplin," featured different heights for dancers and singers at the Gaillard last month.

But that was an indoor set. Setting up outdoors presents its own problems. The huge STYX backdrop that was hoisted into place apparently never had its lights turned on, so it was a murky background until spotlights happened to stream across it.

Hidden most of the night by his large drum set, the man who kept the beat, talented Todd Sucherman, finally came out front for his bows at the end.

James Young mentioned he had noticed a sign Volvo Car Open, referring to the recently sponsored tennis tournament.

He then touted Volvo as a safe car but reminded us all that the owner should always lock it.

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

As always, I thank you for reading my blog and urge you to continue to support live music.

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