Live Photos: Styx in Atlanta May 26, 2019

On May 26, 2019, Styx brought The Styx World Tour 2019 to Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Bank. You can find the complete gallery by Chuck Holloway below the review.


James “JY” Young and Tommy Shaw begin their onstage antics

Styx fans are unlike any other breed of musical fandom. We are legion and we are loyal beyond imagining. In the late 80’s and almost the entire decade of the 90’s, Styx could have faded away into obscurity. Instead, the band regrouped, tightened up, and made enough noise to get our attention again.

With the change in the way people began listening to music, Styx reinvented themselves as a touring band that occasionally recorded music, rather than a band that toured on the back of a new album. The model has been a huge success for them. Any given month, Styx is playing somewhere in the US.

This past Memorial Day-Eve, Styx showed up for their annual visit to Atlanta on the hottest day of the year, and lit up (literally and figuratively) the sold out crowd at the Cadence Bank Amphitheatre.

Drummer Todd Sucherman (who replaced John Panozzo after he passed away), and bassist Ricky Phillips provided the strong, relentless rhythm, while guitarists JY and Tommy Shaw, and keyboardist Lawrence Gowan, fronted the band. They showed absolutely no sign of slowing down as they jammed through the classics they’ve been playing for decades.

To start off the show, the band came out to the pre-recorded “Overture,” and then launched into “Gone Gone Gone,” both from their 2017 release The Mission.

The Mission is an amazing aural time machine that producer Will Evankovich was able to build with the band to bring the listener back to the greatest era of Styx’s history. The Mission feels like it belongs somewhere in between Grand Illusion and Paradise Theatre. 

Other tracks from The Mission included “Radio Silence” and “Khedive”. If there was one disappointment for me, it was that Styx only performed these three songs from their latest album. I would have loved to have heard “Time Will Bend” or “The Red Storm”.

The set of classic hits included “Fooling Yourself”, “Grand Illusion”, “Lady”, “Blue Collar Man” and “Too Much Time on My Hands”, to name a small portion. Each hit song was greeted by a roar from the crowd and sung along with from beginning to end.

For their finale, as usual, Styx performed “Come Sail Away” from The Grand Illusion. But, it was the encore of “Mr. Roboto” that had the crowd really excited. Hearing the opening keyboards and robotic voice speaking, “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto” brought a roar from the fans that put a gigantic grin on my face… I was not alone!

Many of us, including myself, had never had the opportunity to hear “Mr. Roboto” live, due to the band’s history with their former singer, Dennis DeYoung. In 2018, though, the band caved in to the constant pleading from their fans, and added it into their set as an encore, along with fan favorite “Renegade”.

All in all, the show at Chastain will go down as one of the best Styx shows that this writer has been to. Second only to The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight tour.

If you ever enjoyed Styx, now is the time to catch them live. You will never regret it.

For more tour dates, visit Styx website.


Styx Cadence Bank Amphitheatre 2019

 

Juliana Finch Returns to Georgia with Guest Erik Stucky

Photos by Shaun Krisher (Galleries Below Article)

As the new year has now arrived, a whole new slew of shows awaits as the months peel back day by day. To kick off 2019 for Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, Juliana Finch and Erik Stucky graced us with a night of lovely tunes. Being the first Friday night of the new year, the show really set the standard of talent expected at the Foundry. The show was hosted by the one and only Eddie Owen who is the man behind the live music at the Foundry. As the venue is relatively new in the Atlanta scene, it is a place that is here for the long run and personally has a special place in my heart as Duluth is my hometown. Granted, Red Clay Music Foundry and most of current downtown Duluth were only ideas on paper when I was in high school, but my pride for my roots outweighs the changes that have occurred. I will say I hold some jealousy for the facilities at the Foundry, including practice rooms and a cozy green room, that would have been stellar for my high school orchestra days.

Getting back to the show, Erik Stucky was the opener of the evening. Hailing from Nashville but originally from Colorado, Stucky brought a lot of his life experience alive in his music that spans from sappy love songs to upbeat island tunes. He played a solo act on an acoustic guitar accompanied by his soulful vocals that paired perfectly, giving credence to why Stucky had played shows across multiple states in his tour. He made his set more of a conversation with the audience both in the storytelling of his craft and in bantering with the patrons. I fell in love with his song “If The Storm Never Ends” off his recent album Stray Clouds. The song was riddled with soul and heartwarming lyrics to boot about being there for a loved one even if the storm drags on into oblivion. As this was the first time Stucky played in Georgia, I’m looking forward to his next venture south from Nashville to see what new music this cool cat has cooked up.

As the headliner for the evening, Juliana Finch took to the stage with a bassist and drummer backing her up. Both of these musicians have regularly played with Finch, as made more obvious by listening to their set than by watching them walk on stage together. The group was very tight in their performance with each musician’s endless hours of blood, sweat, and tears giving a well deserved return on his or her investment. I really appreciate the bassist as he not only played the classic electric bass found in most bands around the city but also a double bass, which is the bass found in orchestras for those not musically inclined. Being an orchestra kid myself, I have much respect for anyone that can bring an element of an orchestra into a band setting. The drummer also deserves a shout out as he kept a steady beat for each song, adding in some of his tenured pizzazz here and there. From hearing him work his kit, I could tell there were many gigs behind those sticks.

And lest we forget the main attraction of the headliner, and the namesake of it, the one and only Juliana Finch. Finch got her start in the Atlanta scene doing the typical cover band and solo gig track and since moved to North Carolina where she lives now. She has a spunky, soulful voice with a touch of attitude that makes her stand out as an artist. Additionally, her songwriting shares the same vibe as her lyrics cover a wide range of topics, from modern-day drama to old Celtic lore. These three musicians really understand how to capture a moment through the mechanism of live music.

 

Photo Gallery – Erik Stucky

Photo Gallery – Juliana Finch

Amigo the Devil, Harley Poe and Guests Pack Out Purgatory at Masquerade

Photos Courtesy of Ariana Simon (Instagram)

On November 17th, everyone in Atlanta started getting ready for the following week of Thanksgiving. Some started making their way towards family to spend time together. Others started hanging Christmas decorations as their eagerness for the holidays took hold of them. But for all of those heathens of tradition, the place to be was Masquerade. While Mayday Parade took over Heaven, the talent to see was in Purgatory where Amigo the Devil, Harley Poe, Blood Oaks, and Collins Drive packed out the venue. There was a constant overflow of patrons into the alley outside from the first note of the opening act Collins Drive. It was a great sight to behold as Atlanta showed its love for its local music scene.

To kick off the night, Collins Drive took to the stage. Labeled as southern Americana folk rock, this trio of artists really brought out some good soul in their jams. They have a sound that is a cross between Johnny Cash and the Allman Brothers with each tune covered in a cloudy veil of raw life that can only be peered through in the bottom of a shot glass. As this was my first time catching these guys play, I look forward to hearing them again.

Following Collins Drive was Blood Oaks. These guys are a staple in the Atlanta cow punk scene as they keep stepping up their game in each show I attend. For this rendition of their performance, their lead singer The Reverend was dressed up in true unholy attire as he preached the gospel that is rock and roll. His cohorts were all dressed for church with a style that made the crowd expect to be raptured by the music, and they did not disappoint. To start their set, they had their former drummer Shane sit in on one song, giving a tribute to his contribution to the band. From there, their new drummer took the reigns and kept the beat going. The music of Blood Oaks has a very punk rock vibe that puts a dancing to your feet and a warmth in your soul. I even saw a mosh pit form after their second song. I look forward to seeing what new things these guys have in store the next time they preach some rock and roll. Continue Reading

Live Photos: Bullet For My Valentine, We Came As Romans and Bad Omens

This past September 27th, Atlanta’s own Buckhead Theater hosted Bullet For My Valentine (visit the BFMV website) on their 2018 Fall Tour for their new album Gravity with guests We Came As Romans and Bad Omens. The venue was packed out with fans eager to see this stacked lineup to kick off their weekend early. Below are some highlights from the show, courtesy of photographer Maksim Sundukov.

Photos by Maksim Sundukov

Photo Gallery – We Came As Romans

Photo Gallery – Bad Omens

Photo Gallery – Bullet For My Valentine