Chicago @ Seneca Events Center (Inside the Seneca Niagara Casino), Niagara Falls, New York
Saturday, May 5, 2012
By: Thom Jennings
Chicago, one of rock’s most enduring and original bands, visited Western New York on Saturday and put on a tremendous show for an enthusiastic crowd. Their nearly two hour set featured songs from all phases of the band’s career and received numerous standing ovations.
The band’s horn section is what continues to distinguish it from bands from their era and beyond, and the brass players took and dominated center stage many times throughout the performance, especially on the classic numbers like “Feelin’ Stronger Every day” and “25 or 6 to 4.”
One of the things that was so striking about Chicago’s performance was how they epitomized the concept of a band, with each member having their time in the spotlight and no one member dominating the performance. They all played with enthusiasm and seemed to be having a great time together on stage cranking out hit after hit. Their career went through two fairly distinct phases at the height of their commercial success, a period as a legitimate rock band with horns and later as a sappy pop band better known for ballads like “You’re the Inspiration,” with Peter Cetera on lead vocals.
For thirty years now Jason Scheff has assumed vocal duties on the Cetera material, and he still sounds as close to Cetera as Journey’s Arnel Pineda does to Steve Perry. In fact Scheff may be the reason that bands like Foreigner, Journey and Yes opted for sound-alike singers. Even so, the Cetera era ballads still seem out of place compared with the high energy and sometimes politically charged numbers that dominate the band’s set. It would probably be difficult for the band not to include them in their set based on their chart success, but at times it is hard to believe “Hard Habit to Break,” and “Saturday in the Park” is performed by the same band.
Make Me Smile
So Much to Say, So Much to Give
West Virginia Fantasies
Colour My World
To Be Free
Now More Than Ever
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Dialogue (Part I & II)
Call On Me
If You Leave Me Now
(I've Been) Searchin' So Long
Hard Habit to Break
You're the Inspiration
I'm A Man(Spencer Davis cover)
Just You 'n' Me
Saturday In The Park
Hard to Say I'm Sorry/Get Away/Feelin' Stronger Every Day
25 or 6 to 4
All Photos by Gus Griesinger
We would like to thank Tony Astran from the Seneca Niagara Casino for allowing BackstageAxxess.com to review the show.