I always say each time I go to a Chicago concert "the band continues to get better and better". Due to personal reasons, I had not seen them in a few years. Thursday night's concert blew me away. What an absolute joy to sit through 25 amazing songs. They were unbelievably good and absolutely incredible. Better than ever!
They opened with "Introduction". It is the first time I had seen the entire song in concert. Let's put it this way...I hope they always open with that song. I don't say that because it is one of my favorite songs (well yeah maybe I'm being selfish), but because it set the tone for the whole night. It defines the group as a true Rock and Roll Band with Horns. It was nice to see Robert take the lead vocal. He did Terry Kath proud. Jimmy's trombone and Lee's trumpet halfway through the song was absolutely beautiful. The way Keith's lead guitar rolls into the musical crescendo of the powerful horn charts and Tris' drums, it doesn't get any better than that. Wow!!!
Jason's bass was rockin'. He did a wonderful job on all the songs he sang lead on. His voice was crisp. He rocked "Questions 67 and 68" as well as my favorite song "I've Been Searchin' So Long". He was impressive on the song "Now" from the new album. Jason is coming up on his 30th anniversary with the band. I hope he is with them forever. He is an amazing bass player with a great voice.
Keith's guitar playing is exceptional. Every single song was unique and different from all other songs and Keith nailed it on every tune. He's coming up on his 20th anniversary. You go Keith!
Lou Paridini did a really nice job on "America" and "Call On Me". His voice blends in so well with the band and fits in perfectly. He is the perfect addition to the band. Kudos to Lee for two great songs. It was pretty cool to see Lee look just like he did in his picture on the CTA album. Lee's playing was sooo good. .
Jimmy and Lee seemed to acquire a whole new set of lungs on "Ballad for Girl in Buchanon", particularly at the very end of "Now More Than Ever". It is the best ending I have ever heard to that song. That was a joy and thrill. Jimmy Pankow is so into the music. I love how these guys are able to walk the entire stage while they play. It seemed Jimmy played some part of a song with every member of the band. He looked and played so young.
"I'm a Man" rocked and the drum solo with Tris and Walfredo was a thing of beauty. Walfredo's "Hoo Hoo" made the venue rock even more. You could tell how into it the crowd was. Tris is about to celebrate 25 years with the band. He was amazing on "Introduction" and rocked the whole night through.
What really hit home is how much the band is loved. It was quite evident when "the entire concert hall" sang the lyrics to "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, You're the Inspiration, Just You N' Me, Hard to Say I'm Sorry, Saturday in the Park and 25 or 6 to 4." A part of me wishes I could have heard more to the instrumental and singing on each one of those songs because they are so classic and timeless, but I can certainly trade that anytime for the love the crowd showed the band.
It was cool to watch Robert Lamm lead the band through the concert. His voice hasn't changed and it's a joy to sit back and listen to his "ageless" voice. I was glad to see him take the lead vocals on "Introduction" and he nailed "Beginnings". Robert Lamm is Chicago. He also seems to get younger each time they tour.
As we were walking out of the concert, my 21 year old daughter was talking about how much she enjoyed the show. Another couple overheard us talking and the woman said to us "I love Chicago's music. I have so many of their albums but I've never seen them live. They were amazing and I'm never missing another concert!"
Let's leave it at that. A testament to Chicago's timeless music.