The 2019 Stir Cove Concert Series opened in style on Friday night, when the legendary, multi-talented 10-man ensemble, simply titled - Chicago - graced the stage for a two-hour extravaganza of classic hits and formidable brass presentations.
Over 4,000 devotees of all ages filled the bowl, and this iconic entourage gave us all exactly what we were hoping for. Having seen this group numerous times, I have to say they NEVER disappoint. They are still as entertaining and energetic as they were in 1967.
Their musical aptitude abounds, and with four original members still touring, it is quite something to behold. Those original members, Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow and Walter Parazaider, demonstrated their abilities on a variety of instruments, but it is clear that the brass blast that made this band unique, truly makes this band timeless. They are supported by fabulous keyboards and guitar/bass players, which altogether equals 10 kinds of talent on one platform.
Neil Donell does a fabulous job in his lead vocal position, and of the finest additions to Chicago is their new percussionist, Ramon Yslas, who delighted the audience with energy and proficiency. Yslas and drummer Walgredo Reyes, Jr did a 10-minute percussion/drum solo interlude that was totally off the hook. Honestly, one of my favorite nights of entertainment….ever.
Just choose your favorite Chicago hit, and they sang it. It was non-stop action in two one-hour sets. Everyone in the house sang at the top of their lungs as the hits kept coming. They rocked to the brass solos and of course, we all danced to Colour My World, because well, you have to.
Hands down, the finest way to open the 2019 concert series.