Styx, featuring from left to right, Ricky Phillips, James “J.Y.” Young and Tommy Shaw, returns to Southwest Louisiana with a performance inside The Event Center of L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La. for ages 21 and older. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets. Photo by Tommy Mann Jr.

Tommy Mann Jr.  – For The Record

Never let it be said that Styx does not love the road.

Styx, a band whose career has spanned five decades, returns to Southwest Louisiana for a Labor Day weekend concert at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3, inside The Event Center of L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La. for ages 21 and older. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

Formed in 1972, Styx has sold millions of albums around the world while earning a loyal fan-base with its hits songs such as “Renegade,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Come Sail Away” and many more. The band is comprised of long-time members Tommy Shaw and James “J.Y.” Young, both on guitar and vocals. Rounding out the group is Lawrence Gowan, keyboards and vocals; Todd Sucherman, drums; and Ricky Phillips, bass.

Although the band has not released a studio album in more than 10 years, Styx has remained a popular concert attraction year-in and year-out and has had a very busy 2016 thus far.

“It’s been a really busy year with a variety of shows,” said bassist Ricky Phillips in a telephone interview. “The Def Leppard tour we were on last summer just kept getting extended and going into early this year, and we’ve done our own shows as well. We’ve played some large venues and small venues and places in between. It’s been fun.”

Another aspect of the constant touring and having such a loyal group of fans is that those fans have exposed their children to the music they love and, in some cases, a third generation of fans.

“It’s really kind of cool,” Phillips added. “It’s great that we get to play at family venues where there is no age restriction, like county fairs and state fairs. It’s so cool to see all those young faces along with our regular fans.”

While some fans eagerly await new music from Styx, others have do not have such expectations. However, Phillips believes recording new music will happen at some point.

“We will do it at some point, but we won’t rush it and do a hack-job,” he explained. “It costs a lot of money to make a new record and, to do it properly, we would have to stop touring. Touring is not only how we get paid, but it’s how our crew and their families get paid too.”

Phillips and the rest of his bandmates in Styx tour extensively each year and, in many cases, average approximately 200 shows per year. In order to keep it interesting, the band likes to mix up the set list when possible but Phillips knows there is only so much they can adjust.

“There are some songs we could never leave out of our set, like ‘Come Sail Away’ and ‘Renegade’ for sure,” Phillips said. “Those songs have stood the test of time. In fact, I think ‘Lady’ would be one of those songs that we could never leave out of a set.

“But there are songs I would like to see us play more,” he continued. ‘I miss doing ‘Snowblind,’ but we are doing that song more often lately. I like ‘Castle Walls’ a lot because it starts out with the bass, and ‘Midnight Ride’ is a fun song too.”

Styx is always working and the band just announced a five-night run of shows at Venetian Theatre at the Venetian Las Vegas with special guest Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles. The group has other plans in the works as well.

“We will remain in the U.S. and Canada for the rest of the year, but the rumor is we may go to Europe next summer,” Phillips added. “I haven’t seen any dates yet, so I don’t know if that will happen but we are always busy and we like it that way.”

Visit www.styxworld.com for more information on the band and visit www.llakecharles.com for upcoming events at the venue.