Normally I don’t pay much attention to the pop/rock genre of music. In fact I have lived through whole musical eras and been oblivious to the music that has often become the soundtrack of a particular generation. I have always worked on the assumption that if the music is any good I will get to hear it eventually. Well, Saturday evening was a moment of “eventuality” that put the music of Chicago front and center. Their record, no pun intended, speaks for itself. The band was formed in 1967 and this year, 2014, they are releasing their 36th album. During that 6 decade run they have had 21 top-ten singles, 23 Gold, 18 Platinum and 8 multi-platinum records (see the Wikipedia Link. ). Their claim to fame is their innovative use of a horn section within a rock and roll environment. This tribute band, and I hesitate to call them a tribute band because the music sounded so fresh, seems to have been pulled together by saxophonist Rick Lingard and is a fine aggregate of local musicians. The line up includes, front and center the horn section with Keith Todd on trombone; Dave Ward and Tim Bullen on trumpets and, of course, Rick Lingard on saxophones and vocals. The front line is supported by Doug Stephenson on bass, Colin Spence on keyboards, Tony Ferraro on drums and Darren Mahe on guitar. Arron Nelson is the male vocalist who doubles on congas and, the frosting on the cake is the three well turned out female vocalists Melody Diachin, Lisa Backus and Sydney Galbraith. Of course they beg the question why do the ladies make such an effort to look so good on stage and the guys don’t seem to bother ?
This may be a tribute band but for me there was no element of musical nostalgia. The only real elements of nostalgia were the slide show on the back curtain. That was nice touch. The repertoire was all new to me. As befitting a twelve piece fully amplified power house band they nearly blew the walls out and in the process put on a great show. It was probably one of the better shows I have witnessed at the Key City Theatre in recent memory. This was a follow up to their performance at the Kaslo Jazz Festival a few weeks ago. I hope that we get to see and hear this band again in the near future. Here are more images from the evening: