Saturday 22 November 2014


Sunday night Dennis DeYoung, the original voice of Styx, came to Bremerton, Washington for his Music of Styx tour and played at the historic Admiral Theatre. The Admiral Theatre was a movie house in 1942 and then was renovated in 1997 into a charming live entertainment and events venue. The bottom floor has a restaurant ambiance with linen covered tables and lit candle centerpieces. The top floor is a balcony with seating, overlooking the good sized stage.

The band started taking their places on the stage around 6:20pm. First, the beautiful Suzanne DeYoung on backup vocals, Craig Carter on bass, Dave Anthony on drums, and it turns out Dave had just joined the band the night before, John Blasucci on keyboards, Jimmy Leahey on guitar, and August Zadra on guitar and vocals. Dennis DeYoung made his way out last to an excited and cheering audience and took his place behind his keyboard to join in on the intro to “Grand Illusion”.

In 1972 while with the band Styx, Dennis penned the breakthrough hit, “Lady” which took Styx to a gold record status. Getting to see Dennis sing this song live was a huge and memorable moment. A fifty plus year career in music entertainment for Dennis DeYoung and his voice sounds as fresh as it did when he first started his singing career. “Lady” was the second song on the setlist and it just gets more brilliant as the show goes on!

Dennis joked around about being 67 years old, telling us about a friend of his that said, “Dennis, 67 is the new 40,” and Dennis responded to his friend, “Well, you 40 year olds must feel like shit then!” Dennis looked fabulous and gave a high energy show with some snazzy dance moves, including the robot during the super fun, “Mr. Roboto”. – KILROY!

Guitarist August Zadra stood under the spotlight with his acoustic guitar and started picking out the chords to “Crystal Ball”. He had our ears and hearts and then he went on to sing the opening line and everyone acknowledged this man’s talent by delightfully shouting their approval. The whole band joined in on the song and Dennis displayed his power and technique on the keyboards with an awesome solo. The talent on the stage was undeniable and August Zadra proved this with a perfectly toned guitar solo at the end with notes that cut through the air.

Between the years of 1970 and 1984, Dennis DeYoung wrote and sang lead vocals on six of the band Styx’s biggest hits. Their popularity was confirmed by the audience as they played five (Babe, Mr. Roboto, The Best of Times, Lady, and Come Sail Away) of those hits for us on this evening. “Babe,” Styx’s biggest hit to date, was written, Dennis said jokingly, as a gift to his wife to save him money on buying her jewelry. I really appreciate a good sense of humor and Dennis did a fine job of keeping us entertained through music and laughter! After the song, “Babe” Dennis invited a couple up to the stage for a public marriage proposal, a very sweet ending to an iconic song! If you’re wondering, she answered yes to the marriage proposal….WHEW!

My motto is, the more guitar players in a band the better, especially when they are well matched and the energy between them is true and not inflated with ego and competition for the loudest and fastest solo. Jimmy Leahey and August Zadra are perfectly matched together as a guitar team. The energy and skill between them blends a pleasing electrifying mood. They both play acoustic guitar parts at different times in the show, August, as I’ve already mentioned on “Crystal Ball,” and Jimmy Leahey plays an excellent acoustic guitar part in, “Show Me the Way,” a song Dennis wrote for his son and the military men and woman who bravely serve as our defenders and protectors.

Jimmy Leahey also acoustically opened up the song about America, “Suite Madame Blue.” I have chills just writing about it!! I am going to quote a post by Dennis DeYoung on his Facebook page, 

“By the way the audience in Bremerton gave the longest standing ovation to Suite Madame Blue outside of Quebec I have ever heard. It nearly embarrassed me, I said nearly.” 

An absolutely brilliant performance by Dennis and his band and for that standing O, we got a treat, a song that hasn’t been played live very much, number fourteen on the setlist, “Born for Adventure.”
I was twelve years old when I first heard Styx and started buying their albums, but I never have seen them in concert. Like Dennis asked, “How many people have never been to a Styx or Dennis DeYoung concert?.....well, what took you so long?!” Exactly how I feel, Dennis. I didn’t get to see the original line-up of Styx, but in no way am I disappointed at that! I got to see Dennis DeYoung and this incredible band and the show made an everlasting impact and brought me back to why I fell in love with the music of Styx in 1979!

  1. Grand Illusion
  2. Lady
  3. Lorelei
  4. Blue Collar Man
  5. Show Me The Way
  6. Mr. Roboto
  7. Crystal Ball
  8. Desert Moon
  9. Too Much Time On My Hands
  10. A.D. 1928/Rockin' The Paradise
  11. Babe
  12. Fooling Yourself
  13. Prelude 12/Suite Madame Blue
  14. Born For Adventure
  15. The Best Of Times
  16. Renegade
  17. Come Sail Away


Review by:
Jill Maciel
West Coast Correspondent

Photography by:
Scott Banning

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