Chicago to play sold-out show in SylvaniaWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | email@example.com
Chicago’s cool logo seems to stand for quality music.
The rock band with all that brass has the numbers to prove it: five No. 1 albums, 21 Top 10 singles, more than 100 million in international album sales.
For more than four decades, the group has released sequentially numbered records emblazoned with that familiar design that trumpets its signature sound.
“Just the fact that we’re out here 45 years later is special. It certainly has outlived any of our expectations. I mean, this is timeless legacy territory we’re talking about,” said trombone player James “Jimmy” Pankow.
“And little did we know when we wrote these songs that they would become the fabric of people’s lives of all ages,” he said. “We look into an audience and we see people from 10 to 70 all experiencing this stuff on their own level.
“You can see people looking at each other and remembering where they were or what they were doing when they discovered these songs. They associate important moments in their lives with these songs.”
Think “Make Me Smile,” “Colour My World,” “Just You ’n’ Me,” “Old Days,” “Alive Again” — penned by Pankow — and “Saturday in the Park,” “25 or 6 to 4,” “Beginnings,” “Wishing You Were Here,” “Call on Me,” “If You Leave Me Now,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” “You’re the Inspiration,” “Hard Habit to Break,” “Look Away” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”
“Just walking on that stage and seeing these faces light up and seeing these people celebrating in the aisles and just going nuts over this music is an amazing reward in itself,” Pankow said during a call from a tour stop in Denver.
Chicago will take the stage Aug. 7 at Centennial Terrace in Sylvania. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.; the sold-out show will start at 8 p.m.
“Right now, the band is just popping on all cylinders. This current ensemble is the longest running; of course, four of us are still original,” Pankow said.
The lineup features founding Chicago members Pankow, singer and keyboard player Robert Lamm, trumpeter Lee Loughnane, and saxophonist and woodwinds player Walt Parazaider.
Rounding out the band are singer and bass player Jason Scheff, who replaced Peter Cetera in 1985; guitarist Keith Howland, who came on board in 1995; Tris Imboden, who has been playing drums for Chicago since 1990; and singer and keyboardist Lou Pardini, who joined the group in 2009.
“So many artists are smoke and mirrors and lip-syncing and all the tricks because they need help coming across with their music. But this band does it the old-fashioned way: It’s just incredible musical ability,” Pankow said.
“People come to a show and they not only hear this music performed identically to the record that they’ve listened to for so long, but they see it performed as well. We give them a show.”
And that horn player wearing wrist sweatbands has fun.
“We love what we do; we’re very passionate about this,” Pankow said. “I love getting on that stage every night. It’s a powerful drug; I’ve gone on stage with a 104 fever and strep throat, and walked off feeling like Superman with the adrenalin I receive from that audience.
“We’re very, very blessed to be able to do this for so many years … And as long as we can do it and as long as we can do it well, we’re going to do it.”