You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chicago

Members of Chicago wrapped the final performance of their summer tour in images of patriotism and American mettle. This particular Chicago concert provided illumination beyond the patina of nostalgia; this was an encouraging balm, a return to normalcy in the U.S. and, for the fans of this band, pure comfort.

Cast:
Band: Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Walt Parazaider, Bill Champlin, Jason Scheff, Tris Imboden, Keith Howland

Members of Chicago wrapped the final performance of their summer tour in images of patriotism and American mettle, speaking with conviction and care about the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath and performing a number of tunes against the backdrop of the Greek’s oversize, stage-length American flag. This particular Chicago concert provided illumination beyond the patina of nostalgia; this was an encouraging balm, a return to normalcy in the U.S. and, for the fans of this band, pure comfort.

Nearly 30 years ago, as part of the artwork for “Chicago II,” the band included an artist’s interpretation of the American flag. It was gray and cloudy, a metaphor for unsure times and the overwhelming grayness in American politics.

By contrast, James Pankow’s words echoed the sentiments and rhetoric of President Bush and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in his recognition of American resolve; indeed, the band commended firefighters and police officers everywhere, making available more than 1,000 tickets for public safety officials for the two Greek shows. Friday night, the house was nearly packed.

And the band, as guided by Robert Lamm from behind his centerstage keyboards, gave a relatively energetic perf that hit so many consistent notes that it’s hard to fault them for getting sluggish in spots or ever so slightly missing a vocal note.

The material that was showcased virtually defined mainstream pop-rock in the 1970s and early ’80s, and it is almost startling how well songs such as “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and “Beginnings” hold up in their construction and performance. “Saturday in the Park” and “Feeling Stronger” were aural happy pills, spirit boosters that come only in heavy doses.

Wisely, the band moves in and out of configurations, reducing the act to a duo at one point and letting the horn players do a little Latin jazz jam, sing and even try out their percussion skills.

The show, as one would expect, was lively and crowd-friendly; although the pending recording of “Chicago 27” was mentioned, no new tracks, or even indications of what that record may sound like, were proffered.

It’s a prescription for bands and artists with deep histories wondering what to do these days; this is what audiences need and, conversely, the appreciation shown back to the guys on the stage had to be extraordinarily fulfilling.

Chicago

Greek Theater; 6,126 seats; $ 66.75 top

Production: Presented by Nederlander. Opened, reviewed Sept. 21, 2001; closed Sept. 22.

Cast: Band: Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Walt Parazaider, Bill Champlin, Jason Scheff, Tris Imboden, Keith Howland

More Music

  • Monte Lipman Avery Lipman Republic Records

    Hitmakers: From 'Despacito' to Post Malone, Republic Records Had (Another) Very Good Year

    Members of Chicago wrapped the final performance of their summer tour in images of patriotism and American mettle, speaking with conviction and care about the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath and performing a number of tunes against the backdrop of the Greek’s oversize, stage-length American flag. This particular Chicago concert provided illumination beyond […]

  • Pink Drops Video for ‘Beautiful Trauma,’

    Pink Drops Hilarious Music Video for ‘Beautiful Trauma,’ Starring Channing Tatum

    Members of Chicago wrapped the final performance of their summer tour in images of patriotism and American mettle, speaking with conviction and care about the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath and performing a number of tunes against the backdrop of the Greek’s oversize, stage-length American flag. This particular Chicago concert provided illumination beyond […]

  • DJ Khaled at home in Beverly

    DJ Khaled Talks Hits, Hustle and Why He Still Gets Nervous Around Beyonce and Rihanna

    Members of Chicago wrapped the final performance of their summer tour in images of patriotism and American mettle, speaking with conviction and care about the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath and performing a number of tunes against the backdrop of the Greek’s oversize, stage-length American flag. This particular Chicago concert provided illumination beyond […]

  • Quavo Variety Hitmakers

    Migos’ Quavo on Why His Guest Raps Bring the Midas Touch: 'I'm the Flavor Guy'

    Members of Chicago wrapped the final performance of their summer tour in images of patriotism and American mettle, speaking with conviction and care about the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath and performing a number of tunes against the backdrop of the Greek’s oversize, stage-length American flag. This particular Chicago concert provided illumination beyond […]

  • Sam Hunt Country and Pop Hitmakers

    Team Behind Sam Hunt’s 'Body Like a Back Road' Talks Crossover Success

    Members of Chicago wrapped the final performance of their summer tour in images of patriotism and American mettle, speaking with conviction and care about the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath and performing a number of tunes against the backdrop of the Greek’s oversize, stage-length American flag. This particular Chicago concert provided illumination beyond […]

  • Scooter Braun Hillary Clinton Politics

    Scooter Braun on Why He Was Happy to Have 'Despacito' Top Charts in 'Trump's America'

    Members of Chicago wrapped the final performance of their summer tour in images of patriotism and American mettle, speaking with conviction and care about the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath and performing a number of tunes against the backdrop of the Greek’s oversize, stage-length American flag. This particular Chicago concert provided illumination beyond […]

  • Scooter Braun Speaks out on Sexual

    Scooter Braun's Letter to the Good Guys: 'Why Are We Celebrating the Playboy?'

    Members of Chicago wrapped the final performance of their summer tour in images of patriotism and American mettle, speaking with conviction and care about the events of Sept. 11 and its aftermath and performing a number of tunes against the backdrop of the Greek’s oversize, stage-length American flag. This particular Chicago concert provided illumination beyond […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content