Scene and Heard

Chicago returns to The Louisville Palace

Posted in Entertainment by sceneandheardblog on December 11, 2011


In 1970, I suffered the most tragic event in my young life when I went to view the list posted for our school basketball team and found my name was not on it. I had spent up to that time, my ever waking minute playing sports and dreaming of even playing pro sports when I grew up. In my mind there was some question about would I make the starting line up, but had no thoughts about not making the team period!

I had a few other hobbies such as catching critters and riding mini bikes and I always followed music ever since my parents let me purchase the Beatles first album a few years earlier.

I was permitted to join the Columbia Music Record Club, which allowed me to get twelve free albums for only a penny and a commitment to buy several more in the next year.

I can’t remember all my choices but my favorites were “The Jimi Hendrix Experience”, “Grand Funk Railroad” and Chicago.


Since my sports career ended abruptly, I turned to music  and began attending concerts before I could drive. The third concert I ever attended was Chicago at Freedom Hall in July of 1970. It cost me $6.00 and totally entrenched me in live music for the rest of my life.

Chicago was one of the first bands to fuse rock with brass instruments (Blood Sweat and Tears was the other) and aside from a few mellow songs, like my later prom theme ,”Color My World” they were mostly rock and jazz.

The original band featured Terry Kath an excellent guitar player who also sang many early  songs for the group. In 1978, Kath died of an accidental, self inflicted gun shot wound playing russian roulette with a gun he thought was not loaded.


Bassist Peter Cetera began writing and singing lead on many of the bands albums and the music direction of the band shifted to more of a pop sound. Cetera left in 1985 to pursue a solo career.


Despite the personnel changes over the years, the group is still active four decades after its founding. They are one of the few major rock groups that have never broken up or even taken an extended hiatus. As of June 2010, four of the six surviving founding members (major songwriters Lamm and Pankow, plus Loughnane and Parazaider) remain providing continuity, while Jason Scheff has been with the band 25 years, Tris Imboden 20 years, and Keith Howland 15 years.


Many years have past since I first saw Chicago but when they visited The Louisville Palace on Wednesday evening the band proved that they are still a musical machine filled with experience and excitement. The entertained the nearly full venue with songs from every album adding four Christmas songs to the set for the holidays.

Although I lean to the earlier hits from the band, it was hard not to enjoy the pop numbers as the audience joined the band sing and dancing on most song choruses.


All songs sounded fresh with the encore, “25 to 6 to 4”  highlighting a great show.

It was a special night filled with memories for the crowd, a majority of baby boomers.

My son and his fiancee attended surrounded by their parents, both of which grew up fans of Chicago. As we were leaving I was asked me, ”Dad do you remember when you gave me my first guitar? The only thing you could play was the first few chords of “Smoke on the Water” and “25 to 6 to 4”! “I can’t hear this song without thing that”.

It was the only guitar I ever learned but at least I taught him to love music and know a great song even if it’s for the wrong reason!

Robert Lamm of Chicago

For more photos :

Set List

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  1. […] Scene And Heard blog has a fanboy fanman review of the Chicago show at the Palace. Posted by LMNEditor at 10:54 am Tagged with: […]

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