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Styx, Tesla to perform in Pocatello

MACON, GA - OCTOBER 04:  Rock Group STYX L/R: Chuck Panozzo, Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman, Tommy Shaw, James "J.Y." Young and Lawrence Gowan. Portrait shoot at Macon City Auditorium on October 4, 2014 in Macon, Georgia.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for STYX) MACON, GA – OCTOBER 04: Rock Group STYX L/R: Chuck Panozzo, Ricky Phillips, Todd Sucherman, Tommy Shaw, James “J.Y.” Young and Lawrence Gowan. Portrait shoot at Macon City Auditorium on October 4, 2014 in Macon, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for STYX)

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Sider: Rock band Tesla formed in 1981 in Sacramento, California. Four of the original members, Jeff Keith, Frank Hannon, Brian Wheat, Troy Luccketta and Dave Rude continue to record and tour.
They’ve released eight studio albums, the two most commercially successful being “The Great Radio Controversy” in 1989 and “Psychotic Supper” in 1991. The hit “Love Song” peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Their cover of the Five Man Electrical Band song “Signs” is one of their most recognizable songs.
Some of their other most popular singles include “The Way It Is,” “What You Give,” “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out),” and “Mama’s Fool.”

By Jenny Hopkins
jhopkins@journalnet.com

POCATELLO — Styx and Tesla are set to rock the new Portneuf Health Trust Amphitheater, 2375 Olympus Drive, on Sunday, September 27. This concert marks the third at the new state of the art venue.

Tickets are priced from $26-$41 and can be purchased at www.smithstix.com or at the box office starting at noon the day of the show. The gates will open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Styx has released fifteen studio albums and have had many top ten singles including “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “The Best of Times,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Show Me the Way” and “Mr. Roboto.”

They’ve gone through several line-up changes since the band’s inception in the early 1970s, but current members include James “JY” Young and Tommy Shaw on lead vocals and guitars, Chuck Panozzo on bass guitar and vocals, Todd Sucherman on drums and percussion, Lawrence Gowan on lead vocals and keyboards and Ricky Phillips on bass, guitar and vocals.

Gowan joined Styx in 1999 after founding member Dennis DeYoung left the group citing musical differences and health issues.

The Journal recently interviewed Gowan via telephone and asked him about the upcoming concert in Pocatello, his camaraderie of his bandmates and the future of the band. Here’s are some excerpts:

Click here to read the full interview.

Jenny Hopkins: When the guys asked you to become a permanent member was that an easy decision for you or was it kind of hard to let go of the solo career?

Lawrence Gowan: It was elation mixed with a little bit of realization — the realization that it was a big undertaking and that it would mean that I would have to set aside my hundred or so solo shows I played every year. There was far more on the side of me being extremely happy about the fact that it was a great career I suppose, extending decision to make and in addition to that, just the very notion of being part of this legendary band. That kind of superseded any other thoughts that may have allowed to kind of get in the way.

And then eventually, in a short time, really, I could feel a personal connection to the songs even though I wasn’t there for the writing of them. But once you’re in front of their audience and you’re performing them night after night you begin to be absorbed into what it is to perform those songs in front of people and it speeds your feeling of inclusion with the band. At this point I’ve done them so many times and I still love doing them and what we bring to the stage. I kind of feel as if for the band to be what it is today it’s the culmination of everyone who was ever in the band who brought it to this point. So I needed to be in the band when I joined it and I still do so I am really happy about the fact that I chose to come this route.

Jenny: So you’re touring with Tesla, have you met them before, are you guys all friends?

Lawrence: Oh yes, we played a festival with them a few years ago, but now we’ve shared back stage space with them for a few months and they are wonderful guys and phenomenal musicians, tremendous musicians. It been very much fun to jam around with them for a few months.

Jenny: Let’s talk about the live show, do you have any video, etc.? What are you doing for this tour?

Lawrence: We are using some video content on the screens that we use in front of the amps. In Eastern Idaho I think we’re playing the longer show. That’s a chance for us to roll out as many songs as we can from the whole cross section of the Styx catalog. And what’s interesting is, I’d say starting with nine years ago, more and more of the audience started to be under 30 years of age so a lot of them weren’t even born when some of the biggest records in the era came out.

One of the great unexpected benefits of the Internet is first there’s instant access to these songs and because of that, as a result of that I think this is a big part of how these bands, how Styx was discovered by such a younger audience. They’re given the benefit of doing their own programming and they can dial around and suddenly they realize, ‘Hey, I think I want to go see this band live.’ The beauty of that is, and the reason we tour so extensively I suppose is because the live experience is the one thing that cannot be downloaded. It has to be experienced in the flesh and you have to be as caught up in the audience and be caught up in the whole event. It’s a more unique experience now than it’s ever been.

Jenny: What are the future plans for the band? Are you going to take some time off after this tour, maybe go back into the studio?

Lawrence: That’s always the dangling question for every band and it continues to be for us. We have been working on new material and recording whenever we get the little breaks that we get we’ve been working on that and wondering if the time is right now for us to get ready to finish it off and put something brand new out. We’ve had lots of plans that were suddenly cut short because we are so focused on playing live right now but we’re working on new things all the time and when the timing is perfect for that to come out it will.