By Alex Lloyd Gross
Two classic rock titans on one stage together. Two totally different types of music. One amazing night of rock. Both Chicago and the Doobie Brothers have been around for a while. Chicago is celebrating their 50th anniversary and the Doobies are not that far behind. Last night, July 21, 2017, both tried to best each other on stage and that meant that the crowd won. With so much history in each band, it’s great to see them both on stage and touring.
Band members leave, sometimes musical styles change and at times fan bases chance. A lot can happen in 40 or 50 years. When you set up to play you have to leave some classics out. As the Doobies took the stage, songs like “Jesus is Just Alright” and China Grove were of course played. So was “Black Water ” To satisfy fans that have been loyal and want to hear something different, and to show new fans what you can do, it’s a good idea to go into a deeper cut, and that’s what they did with “Clear As the Driven Snow”.
As founding member Tom Johnston said during an interview earlier in the week, “There are pockets of the the country that we are more popular in than in others”.It”s that way with every band. With a performance like they did last night, those small pockets will be growing. Then the Doobies will headline their own show. That way they can play more songs like”South City Midnight Lady”. and maybe even some newer stuff .About two hours plus encores should suffice for this band.
Up next was Chicago. Another awesome band that knows what to do when they are on stage. Listening to their live recordings and thinking this band is good musically is only half the picture. You have to be there. You habe to see them live. The band members move around the stage, engage the crowd and do not simply just stand there and play. James Pankow, the trombone player is all over the stage. As is the entire horn section. They do not stop rocking except for a brief intermission.
The end of the show is the best part, where the band allows the first few rows up to the stage and they shake hands and interact with the audience . ” 25 or 6 to 4″ is the encore and that is to be expected. Songs included in this show are “Beginnings” as well as “Searchin So long” You can tell if the audience like the show by their engagement. For this show fans pretty much kept off their cellphones except during the quieter, slow songs. For those songs, most of the crowd is seated. Here is a clue, if you go to a show and it’s a quieter, slower song and you are standing, take a glance around. If everyone else is seated behind you, that means they cannot see. Maybe you should sit down.
For the duration of Chicago’s set, there was a video screen in the back. of the stage At times the concert was shown, other times, there were short film clips When this show comes to your town, it’s a great idea to go and see it. Even if you get a seat in the back. it’s worth it. Chicago is offering a opportunity to meet the band for $100.00 for two people. you get some goodies tossed in as well. Not a bad deal.