Chicago at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, CT

Legendary American rock band, Chicago, played the Palace Theatre in Stamford CT last night for a 2-hour show full of hits. Opening the show was JD and The Straightshot which is Cable Visions Systems Corporation CEO and Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman James Dolan’s Country Blues and Roots Rock Project. JD and The Straighshot have opened for a number of legendary groups such as the Eagles, The Allman Brothers Band, and ZZTop.

Chicago took the stage around 9 P.M. and brought their soulful sound to Stamford, CT. In recent years Chicago has had co-headlining tours with groups such as the Doobie Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire, and REO Speedwagon. For this tour which celebrates Chicago’s 50th Anniversary as a band is a headlining tour. Of the original Chicago, there are 3 founding members still touring with the group which include keyboardist/vocalist Robert Lamm, trombonist James Pankow, and Trumpet player Lee Loughnane. Chicago’s newest members are bassist/vocalist Jeff Coffey and saxophonist/flautist Ray Hermann.

Chicago opened the show with “Introduction” the first song of their debut album back when the band was still known as CTA  and went into “Questions 67 and 68,” which was also on their first album before playing “Alive Again,” which was written after original guitarist Terry Kath’s accidental death.

Chicago also included an acoustic portion starting with “If You Leave Me Know,” and then on the next song “Another Rainy Day In New York City,” Lamm, guitarist Keith Howland, and percussionist Walfredo Reyes Jr. playing djembe, mid-way through the song Hermann joined in for the sax solo. For the final song of the acoustic set “Look Away,” keyboardist/vocalist Lou Pardini started off solo keyboard and by the end of the song the curtain that had come over the riser for the drums and keyboards before the acoustic part of the show rose and the whole band joined in to finish the song. For the next song “Colour My World,” Loughnane took over lead vocals and the song led into “Make Me Smile.”

In some cities Chicago breaks the show into 2 sets but with time restrictions went right into the 2nd for this show which started with a guitar solo from Howland leading into “Old Days,” and the hits kept coming with “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?,” “You’re The Inspiration,” “Street Player,” and ended with Saturday In The Park,” combined with “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” before an encore of “Free,” and 25 or 6 to 4.” For “I’m A Man,” drummer Tris Imboden and percussionist Walfredo Reyes Jr. took over the stage for a solo trading off between drums and percussion. If there’s one band whose popularity lasted 50 years and still gets constant airplay, it’s Chicago. Chicago was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame just last year and has sold over 100 million records worldwide making them one of the  biggest selling groups of all time.

Text and photos by Alex Kluft

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