Styx & Yes
(DTE Energy Theatre, Clarkston, MI – July 20th, 2011)
As if the month of July isn't hot enough, we're in the middle of several days of 90 degree + weather with today hitting 102! And to top that off STYX / YES invade the DTE Energy Theatre in Clarkston.
The time is 7:34pm, the weather is 92 degrees, and STYX is now on stage at the start of a very HOT night. Right out of the box STYX hits us with 'Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)' - the first single that STYX released from the Pieces of Eight album - and then 'The Grand Illusion.' 'One With Everything' is next after which keyboardist and vocalist Lawrence Gowan tells the crowd, "All you vampires, you got about a minute and a half before you can come out," to which they roar their approval.
'Lady,' 'Lorelei' (the 1976 single released from rock band Styx's album Equinox), 'Man In The Wilderness,' and 'Suite Madame Blue' along with 'Crystal Ball' are next. Gowan is quick to inform us that James "JY" Young - the lead guitarist is "breathing molten lava" while Tommy Shaw picked up a 12 string Fender from the 60's to showcase on 'Suite Madame Blue.'
STYX doesn't seem to have lost a step as they came out rockin' and kept the high energy up throughout the evening. Oh, did I also mention it was 92 degrees at this outdoor event?!??!?!
Tommy tells us that he was born in Alabama but lived in Michigan for 10 years and dreamed of playing here at Pine Knob (the name of the venue before it became DTE)! 'Fooling Yourself' is next on the docket with surprise guest Chuck Panozzo (past band member) joining them on stage. He stays for 'Miss America' and the remainder of the night thereafter.
With lights slightly dim, Lawerence leads us in several short accapella selections like 'Fat Bottom Girls,' 'The Wall' and three more before he goes into 'Come Sail Away.' After a quick stage exit, where they left us crying out for more, they sent us happy into the break with a rocking rendition of 'Renegade.' The temperature after the STXY set an easy 105!!
Yes takes the stage at 9:25pm and (thankfully) it's only 91 degrees by now! They provide several selections like 'Fly From Here – Overture,' 'Tempus Fugit,' 'Yours Is No Disgrace' and 'Art Of The Sunrise' as we sit like school childern watching the teachers show us how it's done.
They decide to teach us about ourselves with 'I've Seen All Good People' and 'We Can Fly.' Lead singer David Benoit lets us know "It's good to be back at Pine Knob" as the crowd screams in approval. Not much for talking to the crowd David also informs us that 'We Can Fly' - from the sessions for 1980's Drama album and yet now the bands first brand new Yes single in over 10 years! - has also been used as a TV title track.
Benoit also lets us know that 'And You And I' is "... a song for our loved ones". 'Owner of A Lonely Heart' is next to which Benoit tells us we should "... get up and dance for this one." Yes round out the set with 'Starship Trooper,' and after a few moments retake the stage and send us on our way with 'Roundabout,' the opening track off their 1971 album Fragile.
A hot day yes, but a even hotter night!!!
Review & Photos by: Ray Trevino