Major League Baseball and Styx, what could be better?
Fans attending Saturday’s Pittsburgh Pirates game will not only be treated to a great game (and hopefully a Bucco win) but also a fantastic rock show featuring Styx and Skyblast by Zambelli Fireworks.
“The first time we played a major league baseball game was in Pittsburgh,” said Lawrence Gowan, singer and keyboardist for Styx. “We’re looking forward to playing at the Pittsburgh once again. It’s an enjoyable intersection for sports and music. It’s an extension of what the great American pastime has become.”
Styx is one of the handful of bands that truly pioneered arena rock in the '70s and '80s with their amazing rock sounds and power ballads. In their 39 years together, the group has produced 15 studio albums, six best-of discs, four live albums, eight top-10 singles and DVDs.
Although their hey-day was truly in the '70s and '80s, the group has actually performed more live shows since 1999 than all their previous years combined.
“The Styx record speaks for itself with our strong live shows and you’re going to get an extension of the baseball game with a great rock concert all at one time,” said Gowin. “Take advantage of as many experiences in life as you can. To see a Major League baseball game and a major rock concert at the same time is incredible.”
Although Gowan wouldn’t “formally” admit he’s a Pirates fan, the group certainly loves Pittsburgh after all our sports teams adopted their song, “Renegade” as a pick-me-up tune during the game's final minutes.
“The Steelers play ‘Renegade’ just about every game in the 4th quarter so we have a real affinity for Pittsburgh,” said Gown. “The Pens started using it a little in their 3rd period too. We have a strong sports affiliation with Pittsburgh teams and I will continue to further embrace it.”
In addition, Gowan shared a small fact about his early band days prior to Styx with me when he donned a Pirate jersey almost every night on stage in an early group. You might just see that shirt pop up at the show.
“I remember back in my first band in the ‘70s, I wore a Pittsburgh Pirates jersey because I liked it a lot during my baseball shirt stage attire phase so I’m looking forward to reviving it at this game,” said Gowan.
Styx is composed of Tommy Shaw (vocals, guitar), James “JY” Young (vocals, guitar), Gowan (vocals, keyboard), Todd Sucherman (drums) and Ricky Phillips (bass). In addition, some shows on this tour will feature a surprise appearance by original Styx bassist Chuck Panozzo.
Although the show is highly anticipated by many fans, with a short set fans should note their favorites just might not be heard that night.
“We’ll be at centerfield in the park and we only play for about an hour,” said Gowin. “We try to play as many of the most-known songs as possible because there will be a lot of people that will be seeing Styx for the first time. It’s a unique setting to play at the stadium with the opening act the Pittsburgh Pirates.”
Tickets are still available for the event, but they are limited and going fast. You can purchase tickets online or by calling 1-800-BUY-BUCS.
“We’re hoping to celebrate a Pirate victory that day,” said Gowin. “If not, we’re going to celebrate the fact that we’re in a great stadium and the baseball fans will get a real rock show.”