This morning I watched a concert video of Styx performing "Grand Illusion" and "Pieces of Eight" from 2010. These were two of my favorite albums with "Grand Illusion" possibly being in my desert island list. And even with only two original members, they still sounded great.
Usually, I avoid watching recent performances of my favorite classic rock acts. Partially because I don't want to lose the mental image that I have of the artists in their youth (most aging rockers are not a pretty sight). But I also generally don't like to see an incarnation that has only 1-2 original members. In my mind, it's just not the same band.
Some people might feel that it's kind of sad to see rockers clinging to their past and forced to survive by playing the same, worn-out, songs year after year. I feel very differently. I'm watching Styx have a great time on stage playing in front of a smaller but incredibly enthousiastic and appreciative audience.
How many people do their jobs every day without any appreciation or positive feedback? Most, I would argue labor in annonymity. Meanwhile Styx continues to do what they love doing - making music - and putting on an awesome show while making a lot of fans happy. Imagine if you received such positive reinforcement for doing the same work 20, 30 or even 40 years in row. Wouldn't that be incredible?
So, I actually admire the legacy bands of any era and think it's great that they can keep their music alive while continuing to manifest their passion.