Styx rock the paradise at Emens

With the declining number in record sales continuing, many bands have been forced to tour more and more every year. One band who\’s taken to the road more over the last few years is veteran rockers Styx, who have one of the heaviest tour schedules in rock and they made a recent pit stop at Muncie, Ind.\’s Emens Auditorium for a show that kicked off Valentine\’s weekend. Emens was packed at almost capacity for the show and the crowd was on their feet before the show even started, eagerly awaiting the rock legends to take the stage. As they lights went down and the crowd went insane, the back of the stage opened up and Styx entered from behind the stage and launched into “The Grand Illusion” and “Too Much Time on My Hands,” starting it off with intensity only Styx can match. The 17-song setlist was packed with fan favorites and hits that spanned the band\’s entire career and catalog and with there not being an opening band there was plenty of time for them to do pretty much whatever they wanted. [lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/Styx in Muncie/\”] They took a lot of time to talk to the crowd in between songs, setting each song up and telling stories from their 40+ year career, some of which told of how some songs came about while others of what the songs mean to the setlist and to the band. Guitarist Tommy Shaw told the story of writing “Crystal Ball” and “Man in the Wilderness” while James “JY” Young told the story of “Miss America.” If that wasn\’t enough, they even pulled out their cover of The Beatles\’ “I Am The Walrus” from their 2005 covers record Big Bang Theory, which blew the roof off Emens Auditorium. Styx isn\’t just a concert, they\’re an experience and this show was no exception. Whether it\’s the tandem guitar powerhouse of James Young and Tommy Shaw, the bass duo of Ricky Phillips and the two-song appearance of longtime bassist Chuck Ponozzo or the spinning keyboard and in-song dancing and strutting of Lawrence Gowan, Styx brings the heat and they make sure everyone in the audience gets just what they came for. Muncie was no exception. -Reggie Edwards