A Q&A with Styx vocalist/keyboardist Lawrence Gowan; the band brings their "Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Tour" to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Friday

For nearly four decades, progressive rock band Styx has managed to avoid the self-destructive downward spiral experienced by innumerable other classic rock bands, producing seven gold, one platinum, and five multi-platinum albums in their extended musical tenure. This wealth of material allows the band to perform on a regular basis while offering their generations of fans new concert experiences and setlists with each tour.

For their current "Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight Tour" — which stops at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall this Saturday, October 23 — Styx presents a unique evening of music with performances of both 1977's Grand Illusion (the one with “Come Sail Away”) and 1978's Pieces of Eight (“Renegade”) in their entirety, and in the order the songs appear on the LPs. It’s a format that gives Styx fans the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience their favorite albums in a live, dynamic setting. In advance of this ground-breaking show, I spoke with vocalist/keyboardist Lawrence Gowan. Check out our conversation after the jump.