Styx, Symphony: Harder than Waiting for Christmas

music musings, beaverdamusa.comBack in August, I wrote about purchasing tickets for Styx performing with the Nashville Symphony (Click here to read).  When I purchased the tickets, February 20 seemed so far away.  The week of the show presented the Nashville area with freezing rain, sleet, and snow.  Area schools were out for two weeks.  Getting to the show became a concern because I live in one of those “back road” areas.  After all the months of waiting, I couldn’t believe that I may not be able to get to the show.

styx, nashville symphony, zach clayton,

Styx performs with the Nashville Symphony. (Photo: Zach Clayton)

At this point, I must give kudos to the Nashville Symphony.  Styx was scheduled to play Thursday  – Saturday.  The Symphony allowed us to switch tickets from Friday to Saturday night and we even got better tickets!  Due to the weather, they allowed patrons to switch if tickets were available or “bank” their dollars for another Symphony show before the end of May.  They didn’t have to do that, but they did.  Thanks!  I was glad that we switched because the orchestra was not able to make it for the Friday show due to the weather.  Whew!

I had advance warning that the show was awesome from a buddy that went to the Thursday show.  It was so good that he got tickets to the Saturday show and went with us!  His tickets were on the second row (vs. our tickets on about the 15th row) and I got to watch the show from there after intermission.  He indicated that the band added a song for the Saturday show which I think is so cool.

styx, tommy shaw, zach clayton,

Styx frontman Tommy Shaw (Photo Zach Clayton)

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville is a great venue which features comfortable seats, an intimate setting, and acoustics that are out of this world.  The show started right on time without an opening band.  The older I get, the more I appreciate that!  Liza Grossman conducted the symphony and did an outstanding job!  She previously conducted the Cleveland Youth Symphony for a Styx show that was televised about three years ago.

In short, the show was great.  They played a lot of older songs which lent themselves to the orchestra accompaniment.  They sound as strong as ever.  While many singers their age or younger show their age in their vocal chops, Tommy Shaw doesn’t.  The high note at the end of Man in the Wilderness was hit and held by him just like the album.  The band brought out Chuck Panozzo, original bassist, to play on a couple of songs.  Chuck had to semi-retire due to health issues several years ago, but is able to play on a couple of songs each night.  Lawrence Gowan seems to have lost the “new guy” label and seems very comfortable in his shoes as the replacement for Dennis DeYoung.

I truly consider myself lucky that I got to see this show with the Symphony.  So lucky that we even splurged and bought the autographed Hatch Show Print done for the shows.  Should this ever happen again, I would definitely encourage you to go to the show – I will be there.

A cultured muser,


P.S.  Here is the set-list:

  • The Grand Illusion
  • Too Much Time on My Hands
  • Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
  • Lady
  • Boat on the River
  • Lorelei
  • Man in the Wilderness
  • Castle Walls –This was the song they added for Saturday and it was wicked with the symphony.
  • Light Up
  • I Am the Walrus (The Beatles cover)
  • Suite Madame Blue  – A jamming song that sounded wonderful with the symphony.


  • Miss America
  • Lights
  • Crystal Ball – my favorite Styx song and probably the best with the symphony.
  • Pieces of Eight
  • Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
  • Come Sail Away


  • Rockin’ the Paradise – surprised they played this one, but glad they did!
  • Renegade
About Zach Clayton

Zach Clayton started Music Musings in 2013, but isn’t a stranger to music. While he may be a mild mannered accountant by day, he always has tunes going and forces his staff at work to play music trivia when they enter his office. He is a self-proclaimed lover of all music genres with over 3,500 songs in his iPod. Zach’s first concert was Eddie Money in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in 1979 and claims to have seen Van Halen (all three incarnations) over 25 times. There have only been one or two years since 1979 that Zach hasn’t been to a concert. He also has the uncanny knack of getting to know several folks in the music scene – both out front and behind the scenes. Zach is in the process of indoctrinating his two boys into the rock and roll way by exposing them to concerts and various music while holding them hostage in his truck screaming the mantra – “rap is crap!”


  1. ZACH CLAYTON says:

    There is one thing I forgot to add to the blog. There was a lady who sat next to me the first part of the show and as soon as she sat down, she exclaimed “I can’t wait for them to play Babe. I know I will cry when they do.” I quickly told her to put the tissue away and that I would bet her $100 that they wouldn’t play it. [Side note – Styx hasn’t played Babe since Dennis DeYoung left.}

    I probably shouldn’t have burst her bubble, but I did.

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