Former Styx member Dennis DeYoung is back with a new original solo album, 26 East, Vol. 1. The album is available May 22 via Frontiers Music Srl.
Lawrence Gowan (left), Todd Sucherman, and Tommy Shaw of Styx and Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, chat at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., on July 1, 2015. (Photo courtesy NASA)
Styx lead singer Lawrence Gowan reflected on the band’s previous visit to the DC-metro area in July during a quiet moment at a Styx concert at the Strathmore Music Center last week.
Someone at NASA invited Styx to witness the reconnaissance flyby of Pluto and its moons by the probe New Horizons, which documented a previously unknown fifth moon around the dwarf planet. Researchers at NASA of course dubbed the new moon Styx after the visiting progressive rock band.
This inspired the start of a solo medley Lawrence played while the rest of the band took a brief break during the very full show in Bethesda on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Lawrence took the opportunity to tip his hat to Elton John with a cover of “Rocket Man.”
The talented keyboardist is a natural showman, and he and Styx founder Tommy Shaw already got the audience to their feet and singing along to many classic Styx songs. Now Lawrence led us through a singalong of “Rocket Man,” followed by a verse of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and “Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding.
Styx with (from left to right) Chuck Panozzo, Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman, Tommy Shaw, James “J.Y.” Young, and Lawrence Gowan at Macon City Auditorium on Oct. 4, 2014, in Macon, Ga. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for STYX)
Q&A with Lawrence Gowan of Styx
Lawrence Gowan has taken on vocal duties for the inimitable progressive rock band Styx for the past 17 years after replacing Dennis DeYoung. In that time, Lawrence has made an impression on audiences worldwide and left his own indelible mark on Styx. Styx returns to the DC metropolitan area for a show on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Md., in a Concert to Benefit Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children. Prior to that show, Parklife DC chats with Lawrence about the music that moves him, performing with Styx, and future plans for the band.
Mickey McCarter: Hey, Lawrence, it’s great to talk to you! You’ve been busy lately. You just got off the BIG Tour with Def Leppard, and now you’re launching into your own tour.
Lawrence Gowan: Yes, we did our first show recently without Def Leppard after four months in Springfield, Mo. We had the big summer blockbuster tour where we could only play a little over an hour a night, so it’s great to get back to a two-hour set. And we’ll be playing in the DC area on Nov. 10 in Bethesda, Md.
MM: So what can people expect? You were here in Virginia on July 2 at Jiffy Lube Live with a shorter set. How are the upcoming shows different?
LG: This is an Evening with Styx. It’s not the fine blend of coffee that people got over the summer. This is the full-on espresso! Maybe a triple-shot!
We’re able to go a lot deeper. It’s more akin to the DVD we put out a couple of years ago — an Evening with Styx. We are playing the entire Grand Illusion and the entire Pieces of Eight. It’s closer to that sort of evening, where we delve a lot deeper into various album tracks, and the show has a wide-ranging emotional arc to it than the onslaught of four hours of classic rock that people saw over the summer with Tesla, Styx, and Def Leppard.