In preparation for its tour kick-off concert Wednesday night in Wichita, 1970s rock icon Styx treated a small crowd to two of its classic songs Tuesday at Intrust Bank Arena.
A few dozen people standing on the arena floor in front of the stage jammed as the five-member band performed “Blue Collar Man” and “Rocking the Paradise” during an afternoon rehearsal.
The band’s high energy and enthusiasm drew cheers. Few were shy about mouthing lyrics. Other than fans filling thousands of the arena’s seats, there was nothing left out of the big-sound, bright-lights performance.
Keyboardist and vocalist Lawrence Gowan even leaned over and sang directly to a guest who wandered close to the stage for a photo.
The real concert begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman. Rock rival Foreigner and former Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder are also scheduled to perform.
The Wichita stop is the first on Styx’s 51-date “Soundtrack of Summer” national tour, which runs through Sept. 26, according to the band’s website, www.styxworld.com.
Among Styx’s other well-known hits sure to make an appearance at Wednesday’s show are “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” the techno-pop tune “Mr. Roboto” and the soaring ballad “Lady.” Band members Gowan, Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips are expected to perform.
Tickets are still available and cost $39.50, $49.50, $59.50 and $85.50. They can be purchased at www.selectaseat.com, by calling 316-755-7328, at the Intrust Bank Arena box office and at Select-A-Seat locations.
The tour takes Styx, Foreigner and Felder to Oklahoma City for a show on Friday.
The next time the band will be close to Wichita is on June 8, when it performs at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Mo., and on Aug. 24 during a stop at the Stiefel Threatre in Salina.
Styx emerged in Chicago in 1972 with its self-titled debut album, “Styx.” The band followed the next year with “Styx II” and has since released more than a dozen other albums.
Its latest, the two-volume “Regeneration,” was released in 2011, according to www.styxworld.com.
For more information about the band or the tour, go to the Styx website.