I really wanted to like this version of the band, but it’s hard to. I like the old songs, everything prior to 1980, but it’s been a bumpy ride ever since.
My other blog, Old Chicago, lays out my love for the band.
Tonight, I watched a concert video recorded recently of the current line-up. I was surprised that Walt Parazaider is no longer a touring member of the band, due to health issues.
The new version of the band has more replacement members than founding band members. Through the years, there were replacements for founding members, and now there are replacements for those replacements. The troubling part is that most of the lead vocals are now by singers who did not record the original versions.
It’s hard to listen to the classic songs vocalized by others, who don’t sound even close to Terry Kath and Peter Cetera. That’s just my view. I understand that those guys aren’t in the band, so if they are to be played live, someone else has to sing it.
The current version of Chicago plays the songs faithful to the recordings, and with the exception of “I’m a Man,” are devoid of any real energy. On this song they emphasized the percussion and it did sound quite good. Give the band credit for their musical chops, they recreate perfect sounding and highly professional entertainment.
Chicago is touring this summer which is their main income as they rarely record and they focus on their remastered sets of early albums and live recordings from the vault.
All of the founding members who are still in the band are in their 70’s now and strut around on stage pretty well considering the age.
To me, Chicago is almost a tribute band now. But, new Chicago, old Chicago, if you like their music, see them. Enjoy the old songs and the memories.