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Wednesday, September 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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A&E >  Music

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, Styx mark eclectic week at Northern Quest

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 15, 2019, 5:20 p.m.

Northern Quest Resort and Casino’s summer concert series always features an eclectic mix of performers, and this week’s lineup is the perfect example.

On Sunday, singer “Weird Al” Yankovic will take the stage as part of the “Strings Attached” tour. Then on Thursday, Chicago rock band Styx, joined by Loverboy, will perform in support of its latest album, “The Mission.”

Learn more about both acts below:

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

The last time singer-songwriter “Weird Al” Yankovic was in the area, he exchanged costume changes and the parodies for which he’s known for original songs performed while he and his band sat on stools in the middle of the stage.

Yankovic’s “Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity” tour was, well, just that – a chance for Yankovic to play songs that don’t often make his setlist.

For his next visit to the Inland Northwest, Yankovic is bringing the costumes, props and video screens back to the stage.

But this time, along with his band and backup singers, Yankovic also will be joined by a full symphony orchestra, all part of the “Strings Attached” tour.

“We’re going directly from my most-scaled-down, low-key show ever (2018’s) ‘Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advised Vanity’ tour) to my most full-blown, over-the-top extravaganza ever,” Yankovic wrote in an Instagram post announcing the tour.

Yankovic went on to write that no, he was not cramming an entire orchestra on the band’s bus, but rather he would be performing with a different orchestra every night, either a city’s orchestra or a collection of local musicians put together just for the show.

Yankovic promises that he and the band are back to playing the hits, though he also teases a few deep cuts that weren’t included on the “Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity” tour.

Yankovic released his latest album, “Mandatory Fun,” in 2014.

The album contains parodies of songs by Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, Lorde, Iggy Azalea, Imagine Dragons and originals in the style of Southern Culture on the Skids, college football fight songs, Foo Fighters, Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Pixies and Cat Stevens.

The album won the Grammy for best comedy album in 2015.

Earlier this year, Yankovic picked up another Grammy, his fifth, this time with Meghan Foley and Annie Stoll for best boxed or special limited-edition package for “Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.”

The 15-album box set is packaged in a replica of Yankovic’s accordion.

“I hope I haven’t been too obvious about this,” Yankovic said in his acceptance speech. “I’ve kind of been playing the long game. I never really wanted to be a recording artist. I did it for 40 years just so one day I could win a Grammy for being an art director, so I’m glad my hard work finally paid off.”

Styx

Chicago’s Styx could very easily perform a show with nothing but greatest hits on the setlist.

There are tunes like “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “Mr. Roboto,” “The Best of Times,” “Show Me the Way,” “Too Much Time on My Hands” and “Don’t Let It End,” all of which reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.

In between, the band could pad the setlist with songs like “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” and “Rockin’ the Paradise.”

But while the band is mostly known for early releases, Styx never stopped recording and releasing music.

Styx – singer/keyboardist Lawrence Gowan, bassist/vocalist Chuck Panozzo, bassist/guitarist/singer Ricky Phillips, singer/guitarist Tommy Shaw, drummer Todd Sucherman and singer/guitarist James “JY” Young – released its 16th studio album, “The Mission,” in 2017.

“The Mission” is a concept album that tells of a mission to Mars in the year 2033. At the heart of the story is the six-person crew of the Khedive, the first in a fleet of (stay with me) “nuclear-power interplanetary spacecraft underwritten by the Global Space Exploration Program.”

Shaw co-wrote the storyline with the band’s longtime collaborator Will Evankovich, who also produced the album.

“We are rough-edged and badass when we’re out on the road, and we know it,” Shaw said in the band’s bio. “But, to a man, while we were making this record, everyone got very real and dug down deep in unfamiliar territory and gave the performances you hear.”

According to Shaw, the band still has an “all hands on deck” mentality and were willing to do whatever was necessary to make the songs better.

“To have this album come out when the brotherhood of the band has never been stronger, well, it’s the sweet dream we never imagined,” Shaw said. “The truth is, it is a dream fulfilled.”

The band brings “The Mission,” and the hits, to Northern Quest Resort and Casino on Thursday.

“This album is an incredible artistic expression that resonates with the best parts of our past but is intended for modern-day consumption,” Young said in the band’s bio. “I’m very excited about it.”

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