At the age of 71 Dennis DeYoung came out onto The CNE Bandshell like a true rocker and owned the audience right away. I was a little worried because it had been raining on and off all day. The audience still showed up with their rain gear to see this rare performance from the original front man for the band Styx. It was an evening of Styx music and the crowd wanted to relive their youth.
Dennis opened with the perfect song, “The Grand Illusion”, which welcomed the crowd into that magical realm of Rock and Roll. He quickly slipped gears and went back to the 2nd Styx album and did the dramatic song,”Lady”. His 3rd song seemed flow flawlessly as his lady turned out by be, Lorilei, who in the song was the woman he loved and finally began to live together.
Dennis was on fire, being a Broadway artist he has all the dramatic moves to keep you mesmerized. You can hear the audience singing to almost every song he was doing that night. He slipped into his solo career for a moment and did, “Desert Moon”. I haven’t heard this song in about 30 years. That was a nice treat. Now came the tough part, Dennis went into one of my least favourite songs, “Mr Roboto”, but I channeled my Jimmy Fallon and just went with it. Dennis even acknowledged Jimmy after the song. If you do not get this reference, here is the link to this fun version of the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLBSoC_2IY8
Dennis hit us with a multitude of great Styx songs, like, “Too much time on my hands”, “Babe”. You could see all the couples dancing together and reliving their youth. Dennis hit some of the big songs like, “Fooling Yourself”, and “Suite Madame Blue”. This song was very special, because if you know it, you know he has to hold a certain note for a crazy period of time. At 71, this dude can still pull it off!
Dennis introduced his band with pride and joy. Agusta Zadra who came in band from Alaska, pulled off a great Tommy Shaw, not only with his looks but his voice as well. Jimmy Leheay also had a similar look to James Young and had some of that great Rock and Roll swagger. John Blasucci, kept the keyboard sounding fine when Dennis was being the front man. Craig Carter held down the fort with his solid Bass sounds. Michael Morales kept the sounds both very tight and
loose on his drum kit. Now, this was the first time I knew this about Dennis, he has been married for 45 years, and his wife Suzanne DeYoung supported him on backup vocals. This is one special lady.
The crowd grew larger as you got closer to the stage as Dennis finished with the classic Styx songs, “Renegade”, and the great sing a long song, “Come sail away”. Even with the the rain earlier, this was a perfect summers’ evening.
There are other great acts at the Bandshell this year, just go to… https://theex.com/main/entertainment/music/cne-bandshell/
To read up more about Dennis DeYoung go to… http://www.dennisdeyoung.com/#
Here are a few pics from Dennis DeYoung’s performance: