Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By Alexander Scriminger
FCE Contributing Writer 

A Dennis DeYoung Show in Ogdensburg Proves Music Can Survive In NNY

Bringing Back the Music


Last updated 8/4/2016 at 11:56am

Dennis DeYoung Show in Ogdensburg NY

A Dennis DeYoung Show in Ogdensburg Proves Music Can Survive

On a beautiful Thursday in July, Dennis DeYoung, the lead singer from The Band STYX brought to Ogdensburg Free Academy's Auditorium a unique environment. At first the auditorium was silent, empty but for a few. Many worried this show could fail and bring spirits for having more music in the area down. But slowly and surely the crowds began piling in, filling rows and rows of seats, filling the balcony, filling almost every visible seat. And all just to see Dennis DeYoung and his band, or so we thought.

As the tension rises, we all await their entry, all of us anxious and curious to see them. Many came because they listened to his music when they were young, others came to experience a concert. But none of us thought that it would bring a raw energy such that as when The Band finally came on the whole room fills with applause and excitement immediately. Starting off with a STYX tune, Grand Illusion, and then heading through their set list for the show. As each song goes on it brings up the level of excitement and happiness in the room. Building up until finally the crowd is allowed below the stage, the whole room is cheering and standing up, many either dancing or singing along. Every person was enjoying themselves.

Now, why were they enjoying this so much? Well it could be that it was truly good music, and I would agree with that. But maybe it's because they remember it from being kids, Mr. DeYoung did bring that subject up during the show. Or perhaps it's because the music brought something more than just a song. Music isn't just a bunch of notes and chords and words, it's more than that. Music is a way to express your feelings. Dennis DeYoung wrote a song for his wife for her birthday, Babe, it was their only number one hit. These guys don't go around playing just any song, they play ones with meaning and ones that mean something to them. Most people can agree that they are spectacular musicians but just being able to play an instrument isn't the same as being able to feel the instrument and the music.

Why do we as humans want to play music or listen to it? In the crowd you probably didn't write the song, you probably don't have the chords and riffs memorized, or even know the lyrics. But we still go out to watch it. Is it because we love the sound? Is it because we respect the words? Is it because they are good at playing music? For some of us those are true but I think there is something deeper about music, and this series will show it. First off music is words and notes and such. It is, but what is the music made of? It's not a bunch of random words and notes, it's all written or jammed with, and each song has a different meaning or emotion. Some songs are sad and about breakups or car accidents but others are about coffee and sunshine and they are happy. But they aren't actually about happiness or sadness, they just feel that way. And the world can truly use this more.

Back in the good old days, every kid had a band, every kid wanted to be a rockstar. For some it was for fame and fortune or recognition but for most I think it was because they could express themselves best in music and could share it best to others at concerts and festivals. Back then every kid could have a band, they had places to play for sure, and they knew how to write music. Nowadays, we only learn how to read notes on a staff or sing someone else's words. Many people are excellent at this but what happens when the ones who know the art of real original music die off? Will there be any way to progress this world's music?

As a musician myself, I have always wanted a band and wanted to write music. But how? There is nowhere to play anymore, or at least not for teens such as me, and not many people know how to write music. But what if there was a place to play music? Dennis DeYoung played at OFA, he's a national act. If we had more places to play and more people teaching the many talented musicians how to be their own person, wouldn't the world benefit again from it?

Dennis DeYoung has been playing for about 40 years and still at it, playing original music. He definitely isn't the only one doing it but no one in this generation has the ability to use their own music. And even if we did, where would we play as young adults?

Music can be beneficial to all people whether you listen to it, play it, write it, or feel it; it's still important. Young people in the area are very talented, I could name about 30 teenagers just in my grade that are exceptionally talented. But this has always been like that except for two things, we don't know how to write music efficiently and we have nowhere to play. When there were places to play every kid had a band, they all wanted to be a rockstar and feel the music. But this is dying and the only way to save it is to support live original music, teach this new generation how to be their own songwriter, and obtain a place for them to play their music. A place to express themselves, like Dennis DeYoung always had. And hopefully all new musicians will forever have, right here, in the North Country.

Bringing Back the Music Series

A Series that will bring you the message that music and the arts can thrive in the North Country

Dennis DeYoung Show in Ogdensburg NY Crowd

Concerts, live music, entertainment, the world use to live and thrive upon this, now it slowly fades away. Each month if the opportunity presents itself a Fourth Coast Entertainment writer, Alexander Scriminger, will release an article showing the power of music and visual arts. From concerts with national acts to plays of local schools and everything in between; we will bring you the message that music and the arts can thrive in the North Country. And we will show the power and importance of real live original music to the area.


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