Archive for September 2015
Two nights in a row of yacht rock? And with the guy who essentially created it? Sure! Probably should hand over my Metalhead Gold Card for a little while, eh? No worries, lots of metal shows coming up!
I’ve been a fan of Christopher Cross since as long as I can remember. Good easy smooth rock. Ride Like the Wind is still such a fantastic song. I took the decision yesterday to see the show and got a seat in the upper balcony of the famed Paramount Theater. I had only seen Cross when he sat in with Michael McDonald a few years ago for Ride Like the Win.
The show opened with Got To Be a Better Way from his new album. Never Be the Same was up next and he spoke a little about TV preachers, which was an intro to another song called Reverend Blowhard from his new album, The Secret Ladder. Is this a 1989 metal show?
He played a mix of old and new songs split between 2 sets. Of course Sailing drew a huge response. I was really stoked to hear Thinking of Laura and Minstrel Gigolo which featured an appearance by Eric Johnson. He mentioned that he and Eric had been best of friends since the 70s and I think it rubbed off on him.
It was a really good show and what I was most amazed by was Cross’ guitar skills. The guy is a bit of a shredder. I was blown away. I’ll really have to go back and revisit his early catalog and give a better listen. And of course his backing band was top notch. His drummer and piano player especially.
I don’t believe in “guilty pleasures”, especially when it comes to music. You like what you like and that’s that. Screw what others may think. Since the 70s and partially because of my mom, I’ve always loved Chicago and still go see them live when I can. They still sound great but I’ve never seen them with Peter Cetera nor have I seen Cetera on his own. Fortunately that changed last night.
In as much as I like Chicago, I really like Peter’s early solo work, especially 1988’s One More Story album. So as is generally the case, I bought two tickets for the show. My lovely friend, Margarita, was available to attend and is also a Chicago/Cetera fan, so it made for an enjoyable evening. In my best Troy McClure voice, “You might remember her from such reviews as ‘Lionel Richie in Austin’ and ‘Journey in San Antonio.'” haha
I bought tickets a little late so I didn’t quite get where I wanted, but still got good seats on the front row in the balcony. By yesterday, the show was only 3/4 sold out based on the Ticketmaster map. No matter.
His band comes out first after the lights go down they go right into Restless Heart. His voice sounded a lot clearer than I expected. Some recent footage I had seen sounded a bit rough. He followed up with One Good Woman, a personal favorite, and Glory of Love which drew a loud applause at the beginning and end. He then asked everyone down front to put their phones away. “Use them during the encore all you want, but for now just enjoy watching the show.” Cheers, Pete!
He mixed the rest of the set up with a mix of Chicago and solo hits, doing a few duets with his back up singer and a few with his guitarist. He left during 2 covers songs, You’re No Good and Come Together, letting the band take care of businees while he took a break. He closed the main set with Hard Habit to Break, Dialogue I & II and Hard To Say I’m Sorry/Get Away, another personal favorite. I was so happy that they did the Get Away part at the end of the song. It just brings the whole thing together. Rarely is that part ever played on the radio edit of Hard To Say I’m Sorry. The band exited the stage and people started trailing out quickly. He had stated that there would be an encore, but whatever.
Before the encore started, he finally strapped on a bass and they went into I’m a Man by the Spencer David Group and has been a Chicago set staple for years. It transitioned into Feelin Stronger Everyday and closed with 25 or 6 to 4. I sort of wish that his touring bassist would not have been playing along, but you could discern Peter’s tone between the two. He’s such a good bassist and I would liked to have seen him play more last night. It was pretty clear that they were tuned down to help him reach some higher notes, maybe as much as a full step, but he still sounded great. It was an energetic show and he was entertaining between songs. The only song I wish he would have played from his solo works is the slow roller You Never Listen To Me. So glad I got to get him off of my list of bands to see.