Oldie but Goodie: Styx Rocks State Fair

The ’70s superstars showed they’ve still got it in a two-hour greatest-hits gig.

My mom introduced me to Styx. She used to pop in the greatest hits album when we were driving down the interstate and let the sweet rock ’n‘ roll sing through the speakers. I didn’t follow the band or know a lot about them, just that someone wanted to live with a woman named Lorelei, and that I could almost smell the sea as we sailed away together.

 “This is real music,” Mom would tell me between fist pumps and head bobs.

Styx played the Marsh Free Stage at the Indiana State Fair last night, and naturally Mom and I were there, surrounded by several generations of fans. The 40-year-old band took the stage wearing the kind of long hair and tight pants that were big in the ’70s. The audience cheered, clapped, fist-pumped, and belted out the words to old classics like “Blue Collar Man” and “The Grand Illusion.”

“A lot of you weren’t around when we first started,” guitarist Tommy Shaw said to the crowd. Some clearly were: One man held a sign that said he had been to 40 Styx concerts. Chuck Panozzo, the original, 65-year-old bass player, made a guest appearance for “Fooling Yourself.”

These guys may be getting older, but they played for two hours—with an encore. And they sounded exactly like the greatest-hits album that blared through the speakers as we sped down the highway on our way to the show.

Photos by Michael Schrader