Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Peter Cetera Live 4th of July Concert Review - Lion's Park - Elk Grove Village, IL

(Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images) 

Peter Cetera put on a very impressive show at Lion's Park in Elk Grove Village on Monday Night, The 4th of July, 2016 ... and the crowd absolutely loved it.  And you couldn't have asked for better ambience ... a nice, cool night (albeit under cloudy skies) and, without question, the most organized concert we've ever been to in Elk Grove Village ... they need to bring this mindset to some of their other summer concert series events.  It all made for the perfect spot to celebrate our nation's birthday. 

The program was originally billed with Cetera taking the stage at 8:00 and a fireworks display scheduled for 9:15 ... so we pretty much went into this knowing that we'd only be treated to a one hour show. 


After a bunch of pre-show festivities and announcements, Cetera took the stage at 8:10 ... and then proceeded to rock the house until just after 10:00, offering up a nice mix and wide variety of solo hits and songs he made famous during his time with Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers, Chicago.  [One sometimes forgets that after leaving Chicago in 1985, Cetera went on to have half a dozen more Top 40 Hits under his own name, including back-to-back #1 Records with "Glory Of Love" (1986) and "The Next Time I Fall" (with Amy Grant, 1986), both of which he performed Monday Night.] 

In fact, "Glory Of Love" was one of the vocal highlights of the evening.  He later told an interesting story about how Producer David Foster kept after him to help write a song for the new Kenny Rogers album he was producing ... pressed for time (and with Cetera packed and ready to leave the country for a couple of weeks), they quickly whipped up a little ditty called "You're The Inspiration", which Kenny then proceeded to turn down, causing Peter to record it with Chicago instead, who went on to have a #3 Hit with the record in 1985.  (He performed it flawlessly at the 4th of July celebration concert.  Also performed to perfection were "Stay The Night", "If You Leave Me Now", "Save Me" and "Hard To Say I'm Sorry", which closed the show.) 

Cetera's encore consisted of three Chicago favorites:  "I'm A Man", "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" and "25 or 6 to 4".  Other Chicago tunes performed that night included "Baby What A Big Surprise", "Along Comes A Woman", "Dialogue" and a REAL surprise, "Wishing You Were Here".  (Brian Wilson's band needs to learn this one and stick it in their set list ... a GREAT chance for one of the other talented vocalists to shine on stage while the band still provides those trademark Beach Boys harmonies!) 

Cetera was backed by an outstanding seven piece band (with, incredibly, no horn section!), all accomplished Nashville musicians.  Female vocalist Tania Hancehroff handled the Cher and Amy Grant duets and then brought the house down with her red-hot rendition of The Beatles' "Oh! Darling", which was followed by a killer version of "Come Together", sung by guitarist Chris Rodriguez.  Other musicians included Boh Cooper on keyboards, Steve Brewster on drums, Joe Chemay on bass, Tony Obrohta on guitar, Jonathan Hamby on keyboards. 

If Peter's voice seemed a little mellower on some of the ballads (missing the occasional little extra "pop" here and there), he more than made up for it on the rockers ... again a very pleasant concert surprise since it was Cetera's partnership with David Foster that took Chicago down the soft-rock / middle-of-the-road path that many feel delayed their Rock And Roll Hall of Fame consideration. 

It's a shame Cetera had to cause such a ruckus over the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony ... he wrote or co-wrote twelve of the group's first 40 chart hits while he was still a member (but surprisingly NOT some of the ones you might think were his ... "25 or 6 to 4", one of Cetera's signature tunes, for example, was actually written by Robert Lamm and James Pankow; "Dialogue" was written by Robert Lamm; "Just You And Me", "Old Days" and "Searchin' So Long" were written by James Pankow, yet all bear the unmistakable voice of Peter Cetera on lead vocal.) 


Restless Heart
Baby What A Big Surprise
One Good Woman
Glory Of Love
Apple In Your Daddy's Eye
After All
Stay The Night
Next Time I Fall
You're The Inspiration

Wishing You Were Here
The End of Camelot
Along Comes A Woman
If You Leave Me Now   

Oh Darling - Tanya
Hancehroff, lead vocal
Come Together - Chris Rodriguez, lead vocal
A very brief Jimi Hendrix rendition of the Star Spangled Banner Intro, which leads into an extended jam ... 

before Peter returns to sing ... 
Save Me
Hard Habit To Break - last #1 with Chicago with Bill Champlain
Hard To Say I'm Sorry / Getaway

I'm A Man
Feeling Stronger Every Day
25 or 6 to 4   

Half in jest, Peter suggested that if you're going to watch ONE Chicago video from the MTV days, make it this one ... 

"Stay The Night", a #16 Hit from 1984

Cetera has a number of concert dates lined up (including three nights in Nashville, he's stellar band's home base) ... highly recommended if he happens to be heading in your direction ... visit for more information

By the way, Foreigner will be appearing at this same venue on Sunday, July 17th.  Book-ending that date are concerts by LeAnn Rimes (July 12th) and Michael McDonald (July 26th) as part of the regular Elk Grove Village Summer Classics Concert Series held on the Village Green.  Come on out and join in the celebration of Elk Grove Village's 60th Birthday!