It started raining when Styx took the stage yesterday at the Arrow Rock Festival in Lichtenvoorde the Netherlands, for a one hour gig. Yet that was hardly noticed by the crowd that had feasted on a show that had the intensity of a full two hour performance.

For obvious reasons, some of the older bands present at Lichtenvoorde had taken their live performance to a somewhat more sedate level. Not so with Styx. They are alive as ever, and maybe even played more sharply and aggresively than ever before. Without any doubt, the present line up with Ricky Phillips on bass and Lawrence Gowan as a worthy replacement for Dennis DeYoung, has given Styx a more rocky sound that nevertheless still does justice to the unique character of the Styx feel and spirit. And though relishing the older Styx hits like Blue Collar Man, Lady, The Grand Illusion, Too Much Time on my Hands and Miss America, the crowd easily consumed the new songs I am a Walrus and I don't need no Doctor.

To the surprise and delight of many, Chuck Panozzo made his appearance half way along, receiving a heart-felt warm welcome. Chuck replaced Ricky Phillips on bass with his more modest and cleaner sound, giving Phillips the opportunity to prove he is equally competent on the six-string. This three guitar line up did very well on Fooling Yourself and especially during Come Sail Away and Renegade, which were the highlights of the show.  Chuck, wearing a classy black leather suit, visibly enjoyed playing and interacting with the crowd.

On the whole, Styx proved to very open and receptive to their audience. Tommy Shaw did a lot of in between talking and all band members frequently made eye-contact with their fans and threw out lots of "stuff". This added to the warm spirit of this long-expected reunion party.

Thanks for the show guys, and especially thanks to Chuck for being there. You made my day.

Arrow Rock Festival
Photo by Jools
I want to thank my friend Jools for sending a photo and a re-cap of the the Styx show in Lichtenvoorde at the Arrow Rock Festival.  Take it away Jools....