How Chicago Has Rocked My World
My favorite era for music is the 60s and 70s, and one of the bands I've loved since I was born in 1967 is Chicago. I recall hearing their music often as a small kid, and as my mother verified, she played their albums over and over. My father has seen them live five times. But the connection for me has always been the beautiful melodies, incredible instrumentals, brilliant song writing and sexy, heartfelt vocals.
One of the things I dislike about "today" is that "sexy" is often used to define twerking performers, vulgar lyrics, objectifying women and soulless bragging about conquests; listening to it makes me feel as sexy as being "romanced" by an inexperienced grabby grabby Axe cologne-wearing buffoon.
A couple of weeks ago Chicago posted the Onion article: ChicagoTheBand.com The Most Visited Site on the Internet to their Facebook page. Comments like these ensured:
Ummmm....you know this is an article from The Onion, right? Parody & satire.
Consider the source!!!!
Not that I want to burst any bubbles, but The Onion is a satirical news website.
I then left this comment:
Not long after I saw that little red alert that let me know Chicago has replied to the thread and I read this:
WHAT?!?! Was my first reaction. It's not like they were having a contest! Stuff like that just doesn't happen. I didn't trust it, although snark isn't Chicago's shtick. I proceeded cautiously, wrote "OMG!" and sent a message. I received a quick reply asking me to contact them via email which I immediately did. Meanwhile I tried to explain to my husband what had just happened. "I was just sitting here and...." I pointed to my computer and couldn't speak. Finally I showed him the thread on Facebook.
While waiting for a response it occurred to me that they may not even be playing near me any time soon, so I checked the tour dates. They were going to be playing in Bangor, Maine, two hours away from me, on November 2nd! That would be the second of a whole series of OMG! moments. Let's fast track to one of the most wonderful and magical nights of my life:
They gave me seats front and center!
I asked Robert Lamm if I could stand next to him. He held my arm and said: "You're the star here." I also had a brief but meaningful chat with Lee Loughnane.
When I arrived at my seat, the best in the house, (I did win two tickets but we couldn't get a pet sitter in time for our guinea pigs with medical issues so my husband stayed home) I was questioned by a fellow who told me that it couldn't be my seat.
"Are you sure?" he asked, but was really telling me no way is this your seat with hints of getting ready to call security.
"I'm sure of it. Excuse me, I'd like to sit," I said with hints I was getting ready to call security.
I turned to the lovely lady seated next to me and asked: "What's with that guy?"
"Oh, he's my husband."
"Oh. What's with your husband?"
Turns out that the other VIPs were media reps, DJs and radio contest winners whereas I was there because Chicago liked something I said. (If you ask me, that's the best!) Despite the "greeting" from Ryan Cote I really enjoyed chatting with him and his wife. Ryan explained that there are people who try to scam their way into the front seats to which I replied: "So you think I look like a scammer, huh?!" It was all very good-natured ribbing and I couldn't have had better people to be seated next to on my right. In fact Ryan really made me smile when Chicago played "Old Days" and he pointed to me and said that's about me because he got how much I love vintage. Ryan also has his own DJ service, so check it out if you're in Maine.
To my left was husband and wife team Christopher and Ann Joles of Maine Music News. Christopher and I chatted about his awesome job as rock star photographer and all of the celebrities he's met over the years. A bit further down from them was the fellow who sang "If You Leave Me Now" on stage with the band, and he was fantastic! I wish I had gotten his name so I could give him a shout-out here. (Update: His name is Michael Pacheco. He raised money for the American Cancer Society for a chance to sing with them and this was his third win. Thanks for the info, Colleen!)
Their performance was nothing short of spectacular! Their wide scope of emotions in their music was evident whether rocking the house with people rushing the stage, moving us to sway to slower love songs or giving me and no doubt thousands of others goosebumps when they performed "Beginnings." Two personal highlights for me was when, on stage, Lee waved to me and when I pointed at Robert and he smiled and pointed back. OMG! Totally swoon-worthy stuff!
And I need to talk about sexy. To me, musically speaking, it means being in touch with who you are, intimately involved with the creative process, a fearless resolve to tap into all and especially the most vulnerable emotions and a professional execution that isn't reliant upon special effects and circus sideshows. That's why I think Chicago is HOT at any age and they are aging beautifully.
Selfie of my tour-t in my hotel room after the show
I am so grateful for the kindness of both Chicago and their staff for giving me a magical night, all because of something I said in their defense, a band that needs no defending and whom has given me so much already. Thank you!