June 11, 2007

Chicago - Live at the Garden


I have been a life long fan of the band Chicago, and I went to see them on their 40th Anniversay tour in Memphis this past weekend. The band doesn't get much exposure these days, and they don't release new music too often, so I sometimes think I'm one of the few people around that still remembers them. The 25,000 or so people at the Memphis Botanic Garden made me realize that I'm not alone in remaining a fan of the band.

The Memphis Botanic Garden is in their seventh year of hosting "Live at the Garden," a series of six outdoor concerts that take place through the summer. They let you haul in your own lawn chair, food, and even booze if you choose to do so. If you come empty handed, there are concession stands willing to sell you an overpriced sandwich and glass of beer. One of the band's members later joked that instead of a mosh pit that they had a nosh pit, and quickly laughed at his own joke.

The band played a solid two hour set that included songs from every era of their history. The band had started shying away from some of their 80's hits, because a lot of the older fan base thought the band was selling out by moving from their jazz/rock fusion sound of the early years, but it appears Chicago now recognizes that their success in the 80's is part of their overall success.

A few notes about the band:
  • Sold more than 120 million albums worldwide.
  • Only band to have chart hits with songs sang by seven different lead singers.
  • Only band to have chart hits in five different decades: 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and 00's.
  • The most successful male American band in terms of Billboard hits.
  • Shortly after the 9-11 attacks, the band began using a gigantic American flag as the stage backdrop, and are still using it to this day.

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