There’s so many positive words I can use to describe this awesome, three-hour long extravaganza at El Paso’s Plaza Theatre on Wednesday night. Americana band JD & The Straight Shot opened for the legendary Chicago. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t listen to a lot of country or Americana music. The band wasn’t bad though. They did a great job interacting with the audience. They even brought out a few chuckles here and there. I enjoyed their rendition of “Tequila” towards the end of the show. I enjoyed Erin Slaver’s fiddle and violin solos throughout their performance. This female is exceptionally talented! Their performances of “Better Find a Church” and “Ballyhoo” were a couple of smooth, upbeat tunes. “Here he Comes” is a tribute to country legend Johnny Cash. The band referred to it as a gospel song. Lead singer James Dolan (hence the JD) is chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company. He overseas the day to day operations of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty professional hockey and basketball teams.
If it weren’t for my parents, I probably wouldn’t have followed Chicago throughout the years. My parents introduced me to several of their hit songs from the 70’s and 80’s. I grew up listening to their music during family road trips and doing chores around the house. I’m happy to say I had the opportunity to see this legendary band during their 50th consecutive year of touring. What an outstanding accomplishment for them! The nine-member band with horns performed songs from five to six eras of their music career. I can’t believe their oldest band member (Robert Lamm) is 71 and going really strong! The band’s founder, trombonist James Pankow also had the crowd going pretty often. All of the band members are incredibly talented and full of energy. Hardly anybody really wanted to sit down while they performed. A few of my favorite songs they played were “Saturday in the Park”, “Colour My World”, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”, “If You Leave Me Now”, “You’re the Inspiration” and “25 Or 6 To 4.” Chicago has earned several accolades over the years. They were inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Chicago came in at number 9 in Billboard Magazine’s Hot 200 All-Time Top Artists. They are the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums in six consecutive decades – with 25 of their 36 albums certified platinum. Lifetime achievements include: two Grammy Awards, multiple American Music Awards, Founding Artists of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Chicago street dedicated in their honor. The band’s record sales top 100 million and include 21 Top 10 singles, 5 consecutive Number One albums, 11 Number One singles and 5 Gold singles. The tour ends today in Springfield, Missouri.
A YouTube video I found of the show.
Disclaimer: Although I was given tickets to the concert, it did not guarantee a positive review. My truthful opinion is reflected in this review.