Chicago Inspires At U.S. Cellular Center
The front-and-center voice and some of the background players have changed over the years, but the core of the band remains. Robert Lamm, Jim Pankow and Lee Loughnane brought Chicago back to Cedar Rapids on Saturday night.
It was a show originally scheduled for the outdoor McGrath Amphiteatre, but was moved indoors to the U.S. Cellular Center due to inclement weather forecasts. Unfortunately, that weather came to pass and then some. Rather than cancel, some quick thinking got it moved to a more suitable venue.
Once inside and dry, it was very impressive how easy it was to navigate a different seating arrangement with the change in venue. The friendly staff, as always, was a huge help. When it was time to start the show, it was just like the "Old Days" as the band punched out 50 years of hits--about 30 songs total--in 2 hours.
The best performance of the night for me was "If You Leave Me Now", as current vocalist Neil Donnell grabbed an acoustic guitar and sat alone onstage next to guitarist Keith Howland, also playing acoustic. Donnell is no Peter Cetera, but the music is timeless, and he holds his own.
The band's '80s fare got less coverage, but "Hard To Say I'm Sorry/Getaway" and "You're The Inspiration" are almost mandatory so they made the cut. Growing up on the band's music, I, and everyone else there, knew almost every song note-for-note.
Otherwise, songs like "Old Days", "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is", "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" and of course "Saturday In The Park" were staples. "25 or 6 to 4" ended the night.