Had a fun time checking in on (former clients) Chicago this past Wednesday at The Venetian for opening night of their latest residency. As the band noted from the stage, it was exactly 55 years + a day since they first formed (2/15/67).
For two hours, the packed crowd was with them the whole way. The 10-piece band with three original members—vocalist/keyboardist/acoustic guitarist Robert Lamm and horn players James Pankow and Lee Loughnane—played a seamless set that merged their progressive rock beginnings (“I’m A Man”) + early lyrical idealism (“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is”) with their melodic pop leanings (“Colour My World,” ‘80s hit “Hard Habit To Break”).
Lamm’s deep rich voice can still light up “Saturday In The Park”; horn players Pankow and Loughnane, both in their ‘70s, breathed fire into their instruments; and new tenor vocalist Neil Donell (who joined in 2018) impressively hit the high notes in the songs with former member Peter Cetera’s vocal stamp.
It was a night about sheer musicality, joyous harmonies + high-energy—really well done. Their Venetian engagement runs through February 26.