“Tonight’s the night, we’ll make history…” Paradise lost. Dennis DeYoung enters the hallowed halls of the theatre and recreates magic in front of an audience of spectres that brings us back into a gathering of life, and high-end expectations, note by note.
It would be killer to fill the mind space of Dennis during this album’s writing process. It’s so theatrical in what seems to be surrounded by empty galleries filled with modern technologies. It’s not as if we’re lost in time, but only asking for what we were given in this stretch of space.
The power chords are there, embellished by searing guitar leads. This has the classic Styx sound that everyone is searching for, while some of the lyrics lead us to believe that he was outcast by previous members, although he’s tongue-in-cheek about his retribution. “With all due respect, you are an asshole.” There has to be a fiery pot brewing beneath a bridge to burn.
That ecstatic walk you feel when approaching any music venue with tickets in your back pocket, holding hands with your favorite companion, and your cronies beside you trying to slam beer and finish the doobie started at the end of the line before approaching security. There’s nothing like that feeling in the world, nor the quick trip at the end of the show in dire need of the food and beverage of your choice before sinking sheets deep into pillow sleep. 26 East: Volume 1 brings back full-flood feelings like seniors night at Worlds of Fun with sins of the flesh hangover the next morning.
DeYoung infused a bit of retro into this opus, as he’s here to feed the people what they want. No bullshit, no contemporary-infused sideline sub-par tracks as the lights are on, the vitality is high, and the audience is captivated. At the end of the show, “A.D. 2020” revisits the Paradise as the curtains close on this next-to-perfect release from a very missed vocalist fronting an exalted band.
26 East: Volume 1 Track Listing:
1 East of Midnight
2 With All Due Respect
3 A Kingdom Ablaze
4 You My Love
5 Run for the Roses
6 Damn That Dream
8 The Promise of This Land
9 To The Good Old Days
10 A.D. 2020
Run Time: 41:32
Release Date: May 22, 2020
Record Label: Frontiers Music