Pick Up Styx

If you were born in the late ’80s, your exposure to Styx may only consist of a snippet of “Mr. Roboto” on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s. Basically, the band broke out in 1975 with the single “Lady,” which introduced the soaring harmonies for which the band is known and which, for the next decade, blared from gymnasium speakers at proms across America. Outside the gym, though, Styx’s lineup changed, and its sound evolved, transitioning from the prog-rock of the 1975 album Equinox to the 1983 anti-censorship rock opera album Kilroy Was Here. (Kilroy was in part a response to accusations that the band members had included satanic messages in their albums.) Internal tensions about the band’s musical direction took a toll on the band after the Kilroy tour, so when post-New wavers like the Police and a Flock of Seagulls ushered in their own era of big hair, it looked like Styx was headed for retirement. Instead, Styx has played more shows since 1999 than it did during its glory decades of the ’70s and ’80s — and even the ’90s — combined. Sure, if you’re not a fan, the band’s music can be cheesy. But if you put it in the context of the era, a rock ensemble fronted ultimately by a Broadway-inspired performer was totally appropriate. They’ll perform with REO Speedwagon and Night Ranger at Cruzan Amphitheatre (601 Sansburys Way, West Palm Beach). Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $19.50. Call 561-795-8883, or visit livenation.com/venue/cruzan-amphitheatre-tickets.
Sat., Oct. 31, 7 p.m., 2009

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