Saturday, April 16, 2011

A "real" rock 'n roll concert

Dennis DeYoung with the Indianapolis Symphony orchestra

When it comes to classic rock, Styx is my favorite band. I give full credit to my parents, who bought a CD of Styx's greatest hits when I was in high school and forced me to listen. It didn't take long before both Chase and I were no longer being forced into listening but absconded with the CD and listened on our own.

Now, when I hear Styx, I actually think first of Chase. Our interest in the band's music peaked not long after I got my driver's license in high school. When I'd accumulated enough road time for Chase to be legally allowed to ride with me, I started driving us to and from school each day.

And you know what the cool thing to do is when you're in high school: play your music loudly. And for that, we chose Styx.

We loved the music, we loved the true rock 'n roll quality of it, and we loved that we were the only car in the parking lot playing it. While other kids were focused on blasting the latest radio hit, we cued up "Renegade," rolled the windows down in my bright blue Volkswagen Beetle, and had a ball.

Dennis DeYoung, the lead singer and primary songwriter for the band, is still touring on his own, playing Styx hits with symphonies and orchestras. I opted out of the chance to see him when he came to Clowes at Butler while I was in college (something more enticing came up), and Mom has never let me live that down.

So, when we saw an ad publicizing his return to Indy -- this time with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra -- she and I bought tickets as soon as we found out.

He played with the ISO at Hilbert Circle Theater in downtown Indianapolis. While I've seen the ISO several times (at Symphony on the Prairie last summer), this was my first trip to their winter-season home. I'm sad to say that Hilbert Circle Theater has fallen into disrepair, but the show itself was fantastic.

At 64 years old, this guy's still got it. He sounds just as good as he did 30 years ago. He had a couple excellent guitarists with him, one of whom sang the lead on a handful of songs (to give DeYoung's voice a break, we assumed) and did a great job. DeYoung's voice is entirely unique, so taking the lead on his songs is a big undertaking.

If you're not familiar with him, check out this video from a similar concert. "Lady" is one of my favorite songs.

If you like classic rock and get a chance to see him, I recommend it!

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