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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Brief Update for Saturday March 17th, 2012

Hi all, sorry it's been so quiet on here.
As Rhonda and I prepared to travel back for my Mum's funeral, next week, there's seems to be just so much that 'we' need to get done before we leave.
Work has also of course got crazy, I guessing since they know I'll be away for a week, they want to hit me up with as much as possible before I go, so I was travelling on business the last 2 days, hence why there were no updates Thursday and Friday ....
  Anyway, trying to catch up with things now, but updates will be limited as we still have much to do before we go.
By the way the Phenomena update below, I know is an older piece of news, as the album is out next week, but I still wanted to share it, as I'm guessing a lot of you may well be interested in it, due to the players involved.

Finally, birthday greetings to my friend Scott Gorham, a classy lead player from Thin Lizzy and 21 Guns. Happy Birthday man!  
Cheers folks, have a good weekend!

Phenomena - Awakening coming on Escape Music 

Tom Galley's latest masterpiece in the Phenomena series of albums is due for release worldwide on Escape Music, March 23rd, 2012.

Feat. Mat Sinner (Sinner, Primal Fear), Toby Hitchcock (Pride Of Lions), Terry Brock (Strangeways), James Christian (House Of Lords), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Lee Small (Shy), Mike DiMeo (Riot, Masterplan), Mike Slamer (Steelhouse Lane), Rob Moratti (ex-Saga).

 People should learn to expect a little awe and mystery. Phenomena take us upon a journey where there is nothing pretty about the protagonists of the story that we shall meet along the way. The subject is good against evil.

The story began in the year 1983, when Tom Galley wrote a couple of short stories with a transcendental background. Backed by record label Bronze, the recordings for the album "Phenomena" started soon which finally hit the stores in 1985. Besides the extra-ordinary concept story both musicianship and the names involved with the project are highlights to mention. Names such as Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, B.C.C., HTP), drum legend Cozy Powell (RAINBOW, WHITESNAKE, E.L.P., M.S.G., BRIAN MAY, BLACK SABBATH.), Don Airey (DEEP PURPLE), Neil Murray (WHITESNAKE) - the elite of the British Hard Rock scene had joined the project. "Phenomena" received high critical acclaim in the press and extremely good sales.

The second PHENOMENA album "Phenomena II - Dream Runner" was released in 1987 and was welcomed with a similarly warm response. The musicians around the Galley brothers had changed slightly, so that this album in the end featured contributions from Ray Gillen (BADLANDS, BLACK SABBATH), John Wetton (ASIA, KING CRIMSON, UK), Scott Gorham (THIN LIZZY, 21 GUNS) and Max Bacon (GTR, BRONZ) amongst others.

With new label Parachute involved, in 1991 the time was right for "final part" of the conceptional story; "Phenomena III - Inner Visions". Besides Brian May (QUEEN) and Keith Murrell (AIRRACE, MAMA'S BOYS), you'll here also find performances by Michael Sturgis (A-HA) and Scott Gorham (THIN LIZZY). 'The Complete Works' were released in a triple fold out Digipack by Escape Music (ESM142).

However, the PHENOMENA concept continued in 2006 under the banner "PsychoFantasy", (ESM125 ecolbook and 125r regular version) which strictly follows the traditions of its three predecessors. Besides the concept story background, you will once again will find a whole bunch of amazing artists performing on this record: Tony Martin (BLACK SABBATH), Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, B.C.C.), Keith Murrell (AIRRACE, MAMA'S BOYS) - and Mel Galley (WHITESNAKE, TRAPEZE).

In September 2010 a new chapter began with a whole host of musicians, and "Blind Faith" (ESM216) was born to explosive effect. With new Vocalists like Robin Beck, Terry Brock (Strangeways) and Rob Moratti (Saga) a whole new world was unveiled and the concept became so fresh again. The rock audience once more were thrilled to hear the latest in this timeless story.

In 2012 we will all hear the new Album "Awakening", an album chock full of new ideas and featuring James Christian (House of Lords), Lee Small (Shy) and Toby Hitchcock (Pride of Lions) as well as familiar faces like Rob Moratti, Terry Brock and Mike DiMeo. Powerful songs executed by some of the finest rock musicians make this a hugely enjoyable album and it boasts a fine production from Tom Galley and Martin Kronlund. Here you will find straight ahead rockers with powerful melodies along with up-tempo ballads and beautiful choruses.

Awakening is a fantastic way to start 2012, it is another chapter in the engaging story that Tom Galley began in 1983.
 In Short, a must!


01.Smash It Up
(Lee Small on Vocals, Mat Sinner Bass, Magnus Karlsson Lead Guitars)

(Toby Hitchcock on vocals and Mike Slamer on Lead Guitars)

(Rob Moratti on vocals and Martin Kronlund on all Guitars)

04.Going Away
(James Christian vocals and Tommy Denander Martin Kronlund on Guitars)

05.Gotta Move
(Ralf Scheepers on vocals and Christian Wolff &Tommy Denander on Guitars)

06.How Long
(Lee Small on vocals and Martin Kronlund on Guitars)

(Mike DiMeo on Vocal and Martin Kronlund on Guitars)

(Terry Brock on vocals and Steve Newman on Guitars and backing vocals)

09.Dancing Days
(Niklas Swedentorp on Lead Vocals with all Coldspell members)

10.Stand Up For Love
(Chris Antblad with JAVA Gospel Choir)

 Martin Kronlund: Guitars, and Bass
Tom Harlan: Guitars & Keyboards
Imre Daun: Drums.
Henrik Thomsen: bass
Per Aronson-Andersson: Hammond, keyboards
JAVA Gospel on "Stand up for love"

Additional Musicians:

Carl Anthony Wright - Guitars
Christian Wolff - Guitars
Tommy Denander - Guitars
Mike Slamer Guitars
Magnus Karlsson - Guitars
Mat Sinner - Bass
All COLDSPELL members
Steve Newman - Guitars and backing vocals
Fredrik Bergh - Keyboards on "Smash It Up" And "Gotta Move"

Produced by: Tom Galley and Martin Kronlund
Recorded and engineered by Martin Kronlund / Executive Producer: Khalil Turk

Marco Mendoza further update

Ricky Warwick and Marco Mendoza with Yours truly, after a great Thin Lizzy gig.

I managed to catch up with Marco Mendoza (Blue Murder, John Sykes, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Soul SirkUS) a couple of days back, as he was looking forward to last night's gig at 'The Baked Potato' in L.A.
'It's great to be home bro, although this L.A. traffic is worse than ever it seems. I don't miss this when I'm away!
Life is good though and the European dates went so well, I'll be heading back to Italy for about 8 more dates.'

Marco went on to add about his upcoming UK live dates in April, that should feature the same guys that backed him up on his European solo dates last time.
'Yeah that should be great man, there's also some possible clinics being lined up in the UK too while I'm there.'

I also asked him what kind of a set he'd be playing and would it include anything other than material from his two solo albums, 'Live For Tomorrow' and 'Casa Mendoza?'

'Man, you know it would cool to do some other stuff, who knows? Maybe something from the Ted (Nugent) days, maybe some (Thin) Lizzy or something from my days playing with Neal (Schon) or even Whitesnake, who knows?! I'd love to man, we'll see ...'

For other European fans, he did say there's a possibly of some Eastern European dates too, maybe Poland and the Czech Republic as well.
Clearly there's no sign of any letting up from Marco anytime soon!

He's also recently done a radio interview, with L.A. station Kong Monster Rock, but the stream is not available yet. Once it is, I'll post it here on Chambers of Rock.
Meanwhile their site can be found here:

Make sure you go and see him play live, if he's near you. The guy is so committed, he just loves to play live!

Official weblinks:

New music from Honeymoon Suite

Canadian rockers Honeymoon Suite have just 'quietly' released a new track through iTunes, their first new music since 2008's 'Clifton Hill.'

The band featuring original members Johnnie Dee (Vocals), Derry Grehan (Guitars), Gary Lalonde (Bass), Dave Betts (Drums) and Peter Nunn replacing original keyboard player Ray Coburn, have a new track called 'If Tomorrow Never Comes' available for download for just 99c!

The link to buy is here:

Official band site:

BENEDICTUM- Enlist Jag Panzer drummer Rikard Stjernquist !!!

Rikard Stjernquist Photo Credit Mark Briody

Benedictum and The diabolical mistress “V” Veronica Freeman are proud to enlist new drummer Rikard Stjernquist to the team!!!!   

Rikard Stjernquist started his career with Stockholm based Bronze Puppet.   Rikard brings a multitude of talent from his longevity as the drummer for power metal legends Jag Panzer of 25 years and nine records to his studio production capabilities.  Rikard will surely assist the team in writing new material for their next release with Frontiers Records worldwide. 

Rikard Stjernquist states “I have been very fortunate in my long career to have recorded and performed with some exceptional people / musicians, and Benedictum is no exception.  I’m very excited about the future with Benedictum and having the opportunity to perform for their amazing fans all over the world.  Thank you Veronica Freeman, Pete Wells and Chris Shrum for this amazing opportunity”

Benedictum played select US dates for the East Coast in late November 2011 in support of their current release “Dominion” out now on Frontiers Records.  Everyone who attended the select dates got a a taste of what the European market already knew.

This year and 2013 will prove to be an exciting year for Benedictum with much more activity in the worldwide.  
Coming soon will be more exciting news regarding their next release!!!!!!

Benedictum is Veronica Freeman (lead vocals), Pete Wells (lead guitar), Chris Shrum (bass) and Rikard Stjernquist (drums/percussion).
Benedictum discography includes “Ulceration”, “Seasons of Tragedy” and “Dominion”. 

Record Label:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brief News Update for Wednesday March 14th, 2012

Hydrogyn to release 'Private Sessions' April 20th 2012

With forthcoming album 'Private Sessions,' it shows Julie Westlake and Hydrogyn returning to their melodic roots in what the band is calling their strongest release to date. Combining the brilliance of their freshman release “Bombshell” and the heaviness of the follow-up to that in “Deadly Passions” the band has put together a stunning release in “Private Sessions”.

Hydrogyn Bio:

"Hydrogyn is going to be big, very big..." Michael Wagener, Producer (Ozzy Osbourne, Skid Row, Alice Cooper)
IN THE BEGINNING… In January 2004, West Virginia guitarists Jeff Westlake and Jeff Boggs began work on a new experiment – a compelling modern heavy rock tour de force like no other on the scene – an outfit designed to destroy musical and industry barriers. Fortified delivered by Julie (just “Julie”), a stunning front lady with a multioctave range, the result is a formula set to conquer everything from Alternative Rock to Modern Hard Rock to Timeless Metal without sacrificing credibility.
HYDROGYN is built to explode.

By the time the band’s self-produced debut hit the scene, the industry was already putting their ears to the ground, picking up on the rumble that is HYDROGYN. Best Served With Volume found the band in favor with soft drink giant Pepsi, who not only sponsored the fledgling outfit but hoisted them in front of tens of thousands strong at NASCAR (Chevy Rocking 400 May 2005). The audience response was nothing short of inspiring. It was clear, even without prior exposure to the band, onlookers fell into the hands of the fivesome’s massive, genre leaping sound and mesmerizing front lady, making the case that Jeff Boggs, Jeff Westlake, Julie, bassist Jason Fields and drummer Jerry Lawson were onto something.

In October 2006 “Bombshell” dropped officially in the US hitting the Billboard on three different charts to mark it amazing release. With Billboard charting, 3 tours of Europe and 2 releases under their belt the band changed bass players for Chris Sammons and Drummer to Josh Kitchen and released a live offering up for the fans that were not able to see them on the Bombshell tour. “Strip’em Blind Live” was released in July 2007 again by their own label in the US and again on the bands label in Europe as well. This live offering was recorded on September first of 2006 in Charleston WV in front of 15000 screaming people. It showcased the band in a big way and even though it was a bit early in a career to be releasing a live CD it worked great.

In January of 2008 the band re entered the studio to record Bombshell’s follow up in “Deadly Passions”. This time was a bit different as Jeff Boggs has stepped down for family commitments and the band had signed what was thought to be a great deal with Demolition Records to cover the world and get a big push. While the CD itself is a stellar piece of modern molten Hard Rock the label faltered in every way to deliver. The band toured relentlessly both for the release in the US and as a one guitar player band but never got to Europe or any other part of the world.

There were a lot of festivals that year and the DP tour that the band saw themselves playing multiple shows with bands like Seether, Shinedown, Rhino Bucket, Great White, Chevelle, Crossfade, Bobaflex and a small tour with Derringer. Deadly did hit the CMJ radio charts at number six in the states and did very well for the remainder of that year.

Hydrogyn continued to tour throughout 2009 and releasing a DVD called “No Borders” which again struck the charts in the US because of their great following. In the fall of '09 the band had taken its first rest in almost 6 years.

2010 saw the experiment with Jeff Young (ex-Megadeth) entering the band. After 5 months of trying to get the cog to work with Young the trial period ended. With Young out of the band in July of 2010 the band finished up “Judgement”. “Judgement” released in October of 2010 to hitting the top Heat Seeker charts at #10.

In July of 2011 all lights were green to proceed with what is now “Private Sessions”. After two months of writing and recording both at Westlake’s Ridgeline Studio and Peek Studio, Boisseron, France the band was finished with the new release.
Following the success of “Judgement” the band stayed with the system in the US that had achieved the numbers it did. 2012 is looking to be a great year for the band and it is starting out with a great new release in “Private Sessions”.

Album tracklisting:

1. Something To Say
2. Forbidden Kind
3. Scream
4. I Don't Know How
5. Heated Nights
6. Creeper
7. Don'tcha Walk Away
8. Roseline's Song
9. Feeling
10. Un Monde Perdu
11. It Doesn't Matter
12. Alone (Bonus Track)

Official band site:
Marco Mendoza and band announce UK live dates

Marco Mendoza the charismatic bassist / vocalist who has a fantastic pedigree for having been a part of great rock acts such as Blue Murder, John Sykes, Whitesnake, Ted Nugent, Soul SirkUS and is currently an active member of Thin Lizzy, has lined up a bunch of solo UK shows.

Marco has already released two very good solo albums in 'Live For Tomorrow' and 'Casa Mendoza,' not to mention having played countless endorsement related gigs and contributed bass to countless albums. 

Ahead of the UK dates, Marco will be playing at possibly his favourite gig this Friday 16th March at the Baked Potato, in L.A. with Joey Heredia on Drums and Renato Neto on Keyboards.
Check him out, he's a great player and fantastic all round guy!

Official website:

Doobie Brothers Drummer passes away

RIP Michael Hossack 1946-2012

March 13,2012 — Sonoma CA — Longtime Doobie Brothers drummer Mike Hossack passed away peacefully yesterday March 12 at his home in Dubois, Wyoming after a long battle with cancer he was 65. Doobie Brothers manager Bruce Cohn made the announcement.

“Mike was a one-of-a kind guy and a long-time member of the Doobie Brothers,” remembers Cohn. “He was a fighter and fought the big battle with cancer and he was a close personal friend of mine and I speak for Mike’s family and the entire band when I say he will be greatly missed.”

The Doobie Brothers Tom Johnston remembered Hossack, “Mike has always been a part of my musical life and the life of the Doobie Brothers; from our earliest singles, like China Grove and Blackwater to our most recent single Brighter Day. He was an incredible musician, a studio quality drummer. The last few years, he was brave and determined to keep on playing in the face of ill health, and I will always admire him for that. He was a terrific dad and family man, and we will all miss him.”

The Doobie’s Pat Simmons, who was a close friend of Hossack’s, said, “When my kids were little, they used to call him Big Mike, because to them he was such a big guy. But to me and those who knew him, he had an even a bigger heart. We were friends for 43 years and we shared some wonderful adventures together, times I will never forget. Thanks for all those wonderful memories Mike, and all the great music. We love you.”

RIP Mike, thoughts and prayers go out to his family from us here at Chambers of Rock.
More info at:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blanca White – Resurgence of Rock album review

Blanca White – Resurgence of Rock album review
Released on: Blancawhite label. Release date: Available now.

Blanca White's  'Resurgence of Rock' is the brainchild project of international lawyer Ken Savage and brothers Austin and Rick Schell, although I’m not 100% sure which of them plays what here, but I understand from the press release that Austin Schell is the ‘musical genius’ here as a musician, composer and arranger – So the Press release says! – and I know, you’re wondering why the review consideration here, from these ‘unknown’ individuals …

Well, these guys have managed to pull in a few ex-names to help out sing on the album.
Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot, Rough Cutt, King Cobra), Lorraine Lewis (Femme Fatale), Terry Ilous (XYZ, Great White) and Jeff Paris, a singer in his own right, but also a songwriter for many acts such as Vixen, Cinderella, Slash and Keb Mo, they all sing across the album.

Here’s the thing …, I really don’t know what to make of this, as I was excited to see Jeff Paris getting something out again and Lorraine Lewis I always thought had a great voice too, Terry Ilous I’ve heard much praise of too, but I know nothing of XYZ personally and then since I’ve not heard Jeff sing in a while, I have to say I wasn’t 100% sure which were his vocals. – I received an electronic download and with so many people singing here and with no list of who sings what, it really is hard to know, except for Lorraine. – Unless there’s another female vocalist on here?!

Opening track is the title number, which I think is sung by Paul Shortino – Never really been a real fan of his vocal. Sorry. – and he sounds ironically here like Eddie Money meets Lemmy!
The song contains some very cheesy / tongue in cheek lyrics, with many references to classic rock bands and song titles.
Basically though the song riff throughout sounds a little like it wants to be Boston meets ZZ Top … It’s OK, but it’s missing something.

Jeff Paris is singing ‘One For The Ages’ next and it’s OK, it’s not a classic Jeff Paris vocal to me and musically …, well you know I’m figuring out what’s wrong with this album and I’ve tried to give it a chance, really I have and I’ve played it a bunch of times and it’s serious lacking in the mix / production area.

I really think if these guys paid to get some names involved with the vocals, they should’ve splashed out a little more for a producer or name engineer to help out. It’s lacking guys, it really is.

‘Your Boyfriend is Lame’ – Hmm, what a song title, oh boy! – is sung by Terry Ilous and on this song the layering is all over the place and the drum sound is …, just not right and the lyrics … Oh boy … If this was the early 80’s and Autograph was playing it, it might come off, but listen to the production here versus something like ‘My Girlfriends Boyfriend Isn’t Me’ and it just gets wiped the floor of!

The sound on ‘Take Me Back’ sounds a little like Rod Stewart and Jeff is singing it and oh boy, Jeff
They really needed someone at the desk really directing better than I believe was done here. Shame …

‘Livin’ it Up (In a Mexican Bar)’ has a sub-Van Halen wannabe feel to it, guessing this is Paul Shortino and it’s mix seems a little all over the place, where it sounds like the guitars are fighting for space here and there.
He even reminds me a little of Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty during the verses here …

Lorraine Lewis steps up to sing ‘Still Turnin’ Heads’ and Femme Fatale it is not …!
The song itself just sounds kind of weak and I wish I could say more positive things about Lorraine’s vocal but it doesn’t work for me.

‘Another Hotel Bar’ is just, no … Sorry, don’t like it. It does nothing for me. Mid paced poppy rock.

You know, I really stand by what I mentioned before about if there was a name producer behind this, there could’ve maybe been more appeal.

The ballad, ‘Hundred Years War’ features Lorraine Lewis and she actually reminds me here a little like a cross between Stevie Nicks meets Grace Slick and it’s alright but again, I really think it could’ve used a little more production guidance.

The final number here is ‘Woman Side / Famous Last Chords,’ and it’s a pretty basic steady’ish rock number, that really just doesn’t really take me anywhere. Sorry but even some of the harmony guitar gets a little dis-jointed to me.

The overall sound here really sounds very much like demo quality material and I kind of wonder how much say Jeff and Lorraine had on the final ‘production’ before the album went to pressing?
It’s a real shame because I really wanted to like this, especially with who was involved.

I love Jeff Paris’ previous work and what I’ve heard of Lorraine Lewis before with Femme Fatale, but here … The album is simply a disappointment.

Guys, seriously, go back and remix it …

Rating: 2.5 out of 5


Brief Note for Tuesday March 13th, 2012

Hey folks,
Sorry, I know you're looking for some updates but everything is crazy right now, planning ahead for our visit to the UK next week for my Mum's funeral, work stuff and more, it's been tough.
In all honesty though, not too many newsworthy things of note to plug in a news posting right now.

In the middle of an album review - Typing up outside of this short note. - and was hoping that someone was going to help me out with typing up some of my interviews, but this has again hit a snag and each time someone does the initial 'volunteering' act ... They then start trying to do it and they realise just how much work is involved and then it's passed back to 'yours truly ...'
There simply isn't enough hours in the day to get through all the review materials, interviews and news updates, so it is what it is folks.
Anyone that works a dayjob, has a young family and tries to get through all this, will most likely tell you the same thing.

Updates will come as I can get to them folks, so apologies if there's not an update everyday, it's just how it is.
I do have some more giveaways coming up soon though, so keep checking in, OK?
All the best, cheers, Al

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Styx – Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Live DVD review

Styx – Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Live DVD review
Released through: Eagle Vision. Release date: Available now

Styx! What a band, seriously, do they need any introduction? I think not!

The DVD starts with a prologue scrolling across the big video screen, behind the stage, not unlike the intro to the movie Star Wars, before a teenager walks into his bedroom - in the video - and pulls out the ‘Grand Illusion’ album by Styx and places it on the turntable which then gets zoomed in on.

Next the camera backs off from the stage and the band launches into the album title track, 'Grand Illusion' which the band still plays brilliantly today. The thing I love about this set is being able to see Styx play a different set list. I only say that, because I've been spoiled over the years insomuch as I've seen the band live, a number of times and very often the set seems a little predictable and this changes all that.

As the band starts playing the track ‘Fooling Yourself’ they then present original bass player, Chuck Panozzo, as they tend to on most live dates, these days and it’s still a great track today.

Next up is ‘Superstars,’ which is brilliant! I've never seen the band play this track live before and I really love it, especially the harmony guitar work between Tommy Shaw and original, founding guitarist James ’JY’ Young. Excellent!

‘Come Sail Away’ his next and simply epic as the band are once more joined by Chuck Panozzo on bass. I have to add that throughout the set, I am so impressed by Todd Sucherman’s drumming. His technique, his fills and more are simply fantastic!

So far in this show lead vocals have all been handled by Tommy Shaw and Lawrence Gowan, but for ‘Miss America,’ James ‘JY’ Young steps up, as they rock through the number. JY has some sweet solo work here too. Cool stuff indeed!

Tommy Shaw explains how he came to write, the next song ‘Man In The Wilderness.’ This is another joy to hear as I have never seen the band perform this live either before.
It's a beautiful track, done as if they've played every night. Perfect!
The track starts laid-back, with Tommy playing acoustic and then midway through straps on a Les Paul guitar and gets rocking some more harmony work with JY. Brilliant!

Another rare track is next with ‘Castle Walls.’ Now I have heard this live before, but only ever once. It starts with Ricky Phillips bass guitar, then Gowan joins in on keyboards and sings a classy lead vocal.

The band then eases into ‘The Grand Finale’ to wrap up the ‘Grand Illusion’ album.

Next it's time for the 'Pieces of Eight’ album, kicking off with ‘The Great White Hope’ and JY handles the main lead vocal here, following Gowan’s introduction.
There are certainly some very tight arrangements, in this track done very well indeed.

A lot of diehard fans of the band, have given them a lot of stick for the departure of Dennis DeYoung and Lawrence Gowan taking his place in Styx.
I have to tell you, those fans really need to open their eyes or ears even, as Lawrence Gowan does a killer job on keyboards, with some excellent lead breaks and his vocals work perfectly!

Gowan introduces and sings ‘I’m OK’ and it's really great to hear. So good ...

‘Sing For The Day,’ is brilliant next - no complaints here - and it's time for Tommy to switch from electric to acoustic guitar. A nicely played number indeed …

JY takes the lead vocal for next track ‘The Message.’
Throughout the whole live performance at this show, the band has a large backing video screen, running through fireworks, lyrics and various song related images and much more too. Before you know it, the song has blended into ‘Lord of the Ring.’

Next up, probably my all-time favorite Styx song, ‘Blue Collar Man’ kicks in and it still sounds as good today as it ever did, even if Tommy’s solo is a little different these days, it still rocks!
JY says at the end of the song, ‘That's Tommy bleeping Shaw folks! Singing that song from three decades ago, that somehow is unfortunately more relevant today … I guess in this day and age, with cameras everywhere we all … Must …, beware!’  Then the band starts to play the intro to ‘Queen of Spades’ with the background behind the band changing.

   Lawrence Gowan takes the lead vocals here and it’s another of those epic masters with some fantastic lead work from JY and strong backing vocals from rest of the band. Class!

The classic hit single ‘Renegade’ is next, with Tommy taking the lead vocal and this sounds so strong, again, it doesn’t sound dated certainly not to me. The band always seems to keep it all sounding fresh.

Then its title track ‘Pieces of Eight’ and the shared harmony vocals are just great on this.
Such a class act and they always put on a great show, which this DVD more than proves.

Final track of the evening is the instrumental album closer, ‘Aku-Aku’ and this is mainly supported by video, initially focusing on the Styx ‘Pieces of Eight’ picture disc version of the album, spinning on a turntable, then as the camera backs off, it focuses on the young lad sitting in his bedroom listening to it through headphones. The camera then keeps pulling away, out his bedroom window, to give a view of an almost animated white picket fence surrounded house, then back off more across various landscape imaginary images. Think the Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ type video almost!
Then the track finishes, the stage lights dim and it’s done.

The bonus feature here is great, but it’s really strictly for muso’s! – Er, musicians.
It introduces all the guys that are behind the band when they hit the road, from each instrument technician, drums, guitars, keyboards, bass, etc right through the stage manager, tour manager right to the band’s manager.

It’s very detailed and it really shows EVERYTHING that it takes to put on a Styx show.

Why I think this is special is maybe, just maybe, some fans WILL take the time to watch this and really understand just how much goes into putting on a live event in EVERY detail, which hopefully will help people to comprehend, that it’s not just a band showing up to play a gig and that’s it.

The setup, running of and break down of a Styx show is a mammoth event and once you see this folks, maybe you’ll understand what goes on behind the scenes of a major band on tour.
I think it’s great and having played in bands, never at these guys level, but even at a lower level any musician will tell you just how goes into putting on a gig, even at your local bar / club / pub.

Great job guys and Eagle too for putting this out, I really enjoyed it!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Official weblinks: