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.

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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

The Root Word is “Class”

musings 250_edited-1Remember way back in English class when we learned about root words?  The fact that several words can be tied back to a single word?  Well, the root word for this column is “class”.  Over the last few weeks, I purchased tickets to three separate shows coming up in the next few months.  On the surface, they don’t look like the other, but the root word is class for all three.

Loretta Lynnclassic county.  Loretta is one of the female pioneers and legends of country music and is headlining the Ryman for the first time.  Of course, she played the Ryman when it was the home of the Grand Ole Opry – before the “new” Opry house was built 40 years ago.  Though I grew up 10 minutes from her home in Hurricane Mills and went to school with her daughters, I have never seen her perform.  This lady is a touring machine, still playing several shows a year.  I am really looking forward to seeing her.

Styxclassical music.  Styx is performing with the Nashville Symphony in February at the Schermerhorn Symphony center.  I have always loved listening to classic rock with an orchestra.  Whether it was the Moody Blues or Lynyrd Skynyrd with the symphony, the same ole songs are refreshed.  Skynyrd’s Tuesday’s Gone is incredible with strings and horns.  I saw a TV special where Styx performed with the Cleveland Youth Orchestra and was completely blown away.  Lady  or Crystal Ball promises to be a treat.

Bret Michaelsclass act.  Bret is playing the Franklin Theatre in September.  The Franklin Theatre is where I saw Mac McAnally and is a very cool place for a show.  I use the word class with Bret for a reason.  My youngest son was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes (T1D) 14 years ago when he was just 18 months old.  Bret was also diagnosed with T1D when he was six and has been an advocate and fundraiser for T1D agencies throughout the years.  I had the occasion to meet Bret a few years ago during a soundcheck.  I told him about Kyle and we chatted about Kyle, Bret’s T1D, and a little bit about music.  He was a very nice, down-to-earth guy and we wound up chatting about our respective diabetes worlds.

If you have read my columns for any length of time, you have seen that my taste in music is varied, and my recent concert ticket purchases could be Exhibit A.  I will let you know how these shows go, until then “stay classy San Diego”. Finest Craft Beers from America’s Best Micro Breweries- 728x90 banner