On March 18th, 2014; Dennis DeYoung, the legendary front man of Styx and author of five key songs that define that band’s career, returned to Los Angeles for the first time during his solo career to a sold out show at the El Rey Theater. Recorded live for AXS-TV and captured in pristine HD quality, the performance has been slated for release later in 2014 on a DVD and CD to feature Dennis DeYoung ‘Performing the Music of Styx’ via Frontiers Records.
Los Angeles FM radio giant 100.3 The Sound aided in show promotion with morning show host Uncle Joe Benson offering tickets to listeners in limited supply, just 20 seats available to winning entrants. In just a few short hours of the show’s announcement, tickets sold out at an astounding fan appreciation price of just five dollars. With gratitude to fans that have supported DeYoung over the years, the show was truly a gift of thanks to long-time fans that haven’t seen him perform outside of Styx in Los Angeles, ever.
With doors opening at 8:00 pm, fans lined the sidewalk starting in the 6 o’clock hour on Wilshire Boulevard with tickets in hand and the buzz was about what songs the band might perform. Photos and reviews of the previous show in Joliet, IL had revealed guitarist August Zadra taking the vocal lead on select songs and fans shared the amazing sound of the band being so close to the record it was guaranteed hit all the right chords with lifelong fans! Still, what patrons would get tonight was an absolute surprise.
The amazing stage set was designed by DeYoung’s son and through the black backdrop shone multiple gemlike circles that glowed from one side of the stage to the other like a blanket of stars with the colors of the rainbow. Neon-like spots aimed both high and low rained down an array of light that swept over the audience. Packed from the front of the stage to the back of the house, the inside of the El Rey seemed more like a night at the Forum in 1985; just bigger than life and ready for broadcast.
Opening the show with “The Grand Illusion,” the band performed for an hour and a half, and had DeYoung interacting with the crowd. On two occasions he was handed items that from the audience that he shared with fans. One was a copy of the Styx “Paradise Theater” album, on vinyl, and another was a fan-made sign requesting a personal song favorite – “Desert Moon.”
The set list for the night was as follows: 1. Grand Illusion 2. Lady 3. Lorelei 4. Blue Collar Man 5. Show Me The Way 6. Mr. Roboto 7. Crystal Ball 8. Don’t Let It End 9. Too Much Time On My hands 10. Rockin’ The Paradise 11. Desert Moon 12. Babe 13. Fooling Yourself 14. Prelude 12 15. Suite Madame Blue 16. Best Of Times 17. Renegade 18. Come Sail Away.
Among attending fans was legendary hard rock vocalist and songwriter Jeff Scott Soto, who shared with us his excitement of the experience. “I’ve been a fan Dennis since the first time I heard him sing and for I’m actually going to get answers to questions I’ve wanted to ask him for years,” Jeff said, “for instance – exactly what is the opening lyric on the song I’m Okay about?”
Dennis and the members of the band took well over an hour of personal time upstairs at a VIP meet and greet with fans and Los Angeles based friends who attended the gala. AXS-TV brought in a 25+ foot boom arm and 8 cameras to capture the magic of the show and the house production offered simply the most crisp and well perfected tone the band could create for a night that fans are going to cherish on DVD for the “REST of Times.” ~ Joe Dolan