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Dennis DeYoung hitting the road behind classic Styx album tonight

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Styx co-founder Dennis DeYoung kicks off his "The Grand Illusion - 40th Anniversary Album Tour" tonight (February 9th) at Wausau, Wisconsin's Grand Theater. DeYoung, who plays all of the classic Styx hits and album favorites in his solo shows, spoke about The Grand Illusion anniversary dates and told Ultimate Classic Rock, "I formulated the theme behind The Grand Illusion album after observing how American culture creates illusions through advertising and entertainment to convince us that our lives our lacking, in order to sell products. I told the audience that we were part of the illusion and warned them not to be 'fooled by the radio,' which was us, and that in the end, despite the illusions and hype created, that 'deep inside we’re all the same.'"

Dennis DeYoung admitted that writing his classic Styx hits was done primarily to inspire himself: "The human experience is not that different. And particularly now, at this point of my life, we all long for that moment in our individual lives where things seemed simpler, innocent and we didn't have the responsibilities and the burden of actually growing up and being an adult. And I was saying that to an audience when I was probably in my early-30's, and generally speaking, the audience was probably between the ages of 15 and 20. Remember; I was writing those songs for myself so many times to remind myself what I should be thinking. How I should be feeling. I was trying to buoy my own spirits."

Styx's seventh album The Grand Illusion was released on July 7th, 1977 -- 7/7/77 -- and hit Number Six on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

In addition to the classic title track, the album features two Top 40 hits; the Dennis DeYoung-written and sung "Come Sail Away," which peaked at Number Eight and Tommy Shaw's "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)," which topped out at Number 29.

Dennis DeYoung tour dates (subject to change):

February 9 - Wausau, WI - Grand Theater
February 10 - Waukegan, IL - Genesee Theatre
February 16 - St. Louis, MO - River City Casino: The Venue
February 17 - Wichita, KS - Orpheum Theatre
February 23, 24 - Las Vegas - The Showroom at South Point Hotel & Casino
March 15 - Plymouth, MA - Plymouth Memorial Hall
March 16 - Montclair, NJ - Welmont Theatre
March 22 - Verona, NY - The Showroom - Turning Stone Casino
March 23 - Williamsport, PA - Community Arts Center
March 24 - Bethlehem, PA - Sands Event Center
April 20, 21 - Bow, WA - Skagit Valley Casino - Pacific Showroom
May 18 - Torrington, CT - Warner Theatre
May 19 - Concord, NH - Capitol Center For the Arts - Chubb Theatre
June 1 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Love at the Moody Theater (with Night Ranger)
June 9 - Florence, IN - Belterra Casino Resort & Spa - Center Stage Showroom

Side Notes:

Dennis DeYoung recently released a new live CD/DVD set, Dennis DeYoung And The Music Of Styx Live In Los Angeles. The collection, which is also available in Blu-ray and digital formats, was captured live on March 18th, 2014 live at L.A.’s El Rey Theater.

The disc features such Dennis DeYoung / Styx standards as “Come Sail Away,” “Lady,” “The Grand Illusion,” "Don’t Let It End,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Babe,” “Rockin’ The Paradise,” “Best Of Times” and his solo hit “Desert Moon” -- along with guitarist Tommy Shaw’s classics, performed by DeYoung's guitarist August Zadra, “Blue Collar Man,” “Too Much Time On My Hands,” and “Renegade.”

Real Rock Artist Spotlight : Styx

10 Things You Might Not Know About Styx

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The Tradewinds
Photo by:
Twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo first got together with their neighbor Dennis DeYoung in 1961 in the Roseland section of the south side of Chicago, eventually taking the band name "The Tradewinds.” In 1965, the name was changed to TW4 after another band called The Trade Winds broke through nationally

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