Chicago needs no Introduction

Justin
Justin Crann
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Published on March 08, 2014

James Pankow (centre), flanked by Ray Herrmann and Lee Loughnane (left and right, respectively). Pankow and Loughnane are two of the four founding members still with the band.

Published on March 08, 2014

Pankow (left) and Herrmann (right) perform during Chicago's two-set show at Mosaic Place Mar. 7.

Published on March 08, 2014

Robert Lamm is the fourth of the founding Chicago members still with the band.

Published on March 08, 2014

Keith Howland rips through a guitar solo during Chicago's two-set show at Mosaic Place Mar. 7.

Published on March 08, 2014

Jason Scheff and Lee Loughnane (left and right, respectively) perform during Chicago's two-set show at Mosaic Place Mar. 7.

Published on March 08, 2014

Lee Loughnane, one of four founding members still with Chicago, performs during the band's Mosaic Place show Mar. 7.

Published on March 08, 2014

Chicago managed to showcased each of its nine pieces with instrumental solos or full solo numbers during its Mosaic Place set Mar. 7.

Published on March 08, 2014

Tim Stop was the opening performer for Chicago at Mosaic Place Mar. 7.

Published on March 08, 2014

Tim Stop, the opening performer, works the crowd prior to Chicago's performance at Mosaic Place Mar. 7.

Iconic nine-piece blows lid off Mosaic Place

If there were ever one band Mosaic Place was built to host, that band would be Chicago.

The much-celebrated "rock-and-roll band with horns" came to the Moose Jaw venue Friday night to offer an impressive two-set foray into their almost 50 years of recording.

The arena provided the ideal venue for this nine-piece to fully stretch its wings with a show that featured an impressive array of instrumental solos, a rotating cast of vocalists and more than a few healthy pivots from up-tempo dance number to power ballad.

Fresh off of Grammy Hall of Fame honours, the band opened their show with the very fitting Introduction, the first song on the first album the band ever recorded.

"We're kind of doing that because this year, the Grammys awarded us with a Hall of Fame spot for the first album," said Robert Lamm, one of the band's four remaining members from its original line-up, following the show's two-song open.

"We have music from lots and lots of albums and in fact, it's going to be a lengthy concert tonight," he added.

And a lengthy concert it was, loaded with favourites including ballads like If You Leave Me Now, an up-tempo and salsa infused take on Call On Me, and a powerful rendition of (I've Been) Searchin' So Long that segued into Mongonucleosis and featured a blistering guitar solo.

All of those were played in the first set alone.

Other bands might struggle to find room for every member of a nine-piece, with a deep catalogue of songs to draw on, Chicago managed to find something to showcase every member's talents.

Toward the end of their first set, the band split up, allowing individual members to shine with solo, duo or trio performances of other Chicago standouts.

A largely solo rendition of Look Away by Lou Pardini was the standout here, featuring powerhouse vocals and closing with a return of the band's full ensemble.

There was no question — judging by fan response — that the audience got it's money's worth.

All in a night's work for the iconic rock band.

Chicago will next perform in Calgary Sunday, followed by a stop in Edmonton the next night and a handful of B.C. appearances to close out their Canadian tour.

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  • Ted Michaels
    March 08, 2014 - 10:23

    The sax player is Ray Herman, not Walt Parazaider.

  • Richard
    March 08, 2014 - 09:42

    Thank you and thank you again Chicago, for a fantastic concert experience. The band delivered .