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DDY Talk
ladybugking

Stafford Centre, Stafford Texas 10-11-2012

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I have really gotten behind on things. I meant to post this review here as well. I did post it on Melodic Rock and then, well, things got busy.

 

I wasn't sure if I would be able to get to this show but I am SO glad I made the drive over to see it. I really was determined to see this lineup with Tom, Jimmy, August and Craig as the new additions.

 

The place looked pretty full, and one of Dennis' people said the venue was about 80-85% sold out. Not bad for a foray into Texas where he is not well known at all outside of Styx.

 

Here is what I posted on MR.com. with a few tweaks:

 

If there is an opportunity, this is a show you should see. Dennis has been given a new performing life with this band he has now, no question.

 

There was a ton of energy onstage and they are a tight, together, working group. While there was a lot to like about his former backing band, there is simply no comparison to these stellar musicians.

 

Dennis said they had not played together for three weeks and, honestly, you could feel what I sensed as genuine camaraderie these guys (and gal) have among themselves. They were having fun and nothing seemed forced or fake. Dennis bounces off of them and vice-versa and it all works very well.

 

August, Jimmy and Craig are first rate players/singers. I was also enthralled with Tom Sharpe’s showmanship and accomplishment as almost an orchestral drummer. I kept hearing fills, sounds, rhythms that just made the onstage sound so complete and realized it was Tom using all kinds of things to create interesting backgrounds to every song. He has a nice theatricality about him, too.

 

And Dennis. What can I say? He was just full of electricity. The voice is still dead-on perfect. He still does the dorky moves but has added some pretty nifty footwork as he works the stage. He moves around like a skinny cat and mugs and grins along the way. And his keyboard work is off the chain. It was SO great to see that part of him opened back up again. He got standing O’s every time he tore it up.

 

And speaking of standing O’s. The audience, including me, acted like starved Styx music fans. Ones who wanted to see and hear the original singer and keyboardist. They stood up over and over and, for the last 4 songs or so, just stayed standing and danced and swayed and sang along. Everything a concert like that should have been.

 

Dennis has cut down a lot on the between songs patter. Mostly it is back-to-back-to-back songs, all which, of course, I could sing along with word-for-word. (Some new comments from him. I had not heard him talk about stopping dyeing his hair in 1997 and how so many musicians, Brian May for example, are all finally starting to look like him now that they have stopped, too. It was a fun, funny take on aging rockers.)

 

The setlist was one I much liked, though still a few I would love to hear at some point.(CastleWallsCastleWalls) He did do a beautiful “Desert Moon” with a long, terrific guitar solo from Jimmy. I have never been a fan of “Don’t Let it End”, but this acoustic version, totally stripped down, is just wonderful. Just wow to that one. Nothing not to like about it.

 

"Mr Roboto” has really become a camp highlight at his shows, no question. The audience went nuts over it, and you could tell Dennis took it just the right way. His smile said it all – “Yeah, it’s campy, but didn’t we all have fun with it?”

 

He said, after “Roboto,” that his was the only show where you will hear “Show Me the Way” and “Mr. Roboto” back-to-back. Yep. SMTW was predictably gorgeous.

 

One of the (many) highlights was, of course, “Born for Adventure”. Blew everyone back to the back wall. I cannot believe he has put this in his show and very grateful for it, too!!

 

The audience had lots of younger people in it and, of course, plenty of us old rock fans. It was a nice mix and I really do not think anyone went home disappointed. As I said, nice crowd. The entire lower section was full.

 

There were, as usual, a few sound glitches that Dennis actually addressed onstage to the guys. Told them nothing could be done. Mostly everything was pretty tightly packaged and I didn't detect many problems. They had not played together for 3 weeks, so there may have been some missteps, noticeable only to them.

 

I have seen DDY many times, and you can tell whether he thinks the show went well and if he had a good time. I sensed he was quite happy about everything and the reception he got in Texas.

 

I talked to Suzanne after the show briefly (and Dennis) and both asked how I thought it went. Big ups from me, of course! Hey. I truly meant it. One of the best of his shows I have ever seen.

 

The only other DDY show I would someday love to experience is the acoustic show. Maybe someday. Right now I am happy.

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Glad you enjoyed the show Kathy. But shame on you for posting at the other site first, and then posting here ;)

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Glad you enjoyed the show Kathy. But shame on you for posting at the other site first, and then posting here ;)

 

Hahaha, Ron. I thought I might hear that from you. I was going to post here and there and then, well, life got in the way.

 

I KNOW the folks here appreciate anything and everything DDY. Those MR people need to hear how good his show is vs, well, that touring Styx show.

 

That said, I think both shows have something to offer fans, and for those who like it, go see them both. Dennis certainly gives one a far more well-rounded look at Styx music and his immense contribution to it.

 

Plus, as we also know, you can get three types of DDY shows vs only one for the touring band. As I said in my review, I would love to catch an acoustic show sometime, too.

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