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Former Styx Leader Re-embraces Full Band Catalog

of the Oakland Press

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Dennis DeYoung has never stopped playing the music of Styx — much of which he wrote and produced — but this year he’s playing [i]all[/i] the music of Styx, even including other members’ songs such as “Renegade, “Fooling Yourself” and “Too Much Time on My Hands.”

That’s something he’s shied away from before, but not, DeYoung says, because of any residual animosity with the others after his acrimonious 1999 departure from the band, which guitarists Tommy Shaw and James “J.Y.” Young still lead.

“It was really just about who the hell’s going to do them,” explains DeYoung, 63, who still resides in Styx’s hometown of Chicago. “I didn’t feel right singing them. Of course I could have, but it didn’t feel authentic if I sang them. For 20 shows in Europe once I sang (Shaw’s) ‘Boat on the River’ and that was fun, but I really feel like the person who does them should sound dead to nuts. That’s what I believe, anyway.”

DeYoung says he now has that person in August Zadra, a guitarist with a “spooky” likeness to Show who DeYoung’s son found in a Styx tribute band called the Grand Illusion.

“For the past 10 years or so, I perceived that the audience has always felt that if they went to see me, they wouldn’t get these songs, and if they went to see the other guys, they wouldn’t get a set of other songs that I do,” DeYoung says. “Now it’s turned out that those people who love Styx really, really like this show, and that’s made me happy to play these songs again.”

Dennis DeYoung performs at 8 p.m. Friday, July 16, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $38 and $35. Call 800-745-3000 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.

Web Site: www.motorcitycasino.com

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