Monday, May 10, 2021


Hey, Kent,  

What would you say was / is / will be the biggest, most popular venue in the Chicagoland area for today's "Concerts of the 1960s?"

Chuck Buell

That’s a tough call …

We love the venues we typically support … The Arcada … The Genesee … but a concert of this magnitude might demand something bigger.  (We used to travel down to Indiana to see oldies shows at Star Plaza, but that theater is gone now.  Even so, I don’t think it would have made THIS list.) 

The Genesee is probably the most elegant of what remains, but only seats about 2500 people, I believe.  I haven’t seen the remodeling they’ve done at The Arcada yet, but that seats even less … and let’s face it, with Covid restrictions in place, who knows how many people they’d even let in!!!  (I think we’re still at 25% capacity right now … but local venues are hoping to see that increase to 50% by July, which is when most are starting to reschedule the bulk of their shows moving forward.)

I would LOVE to see a MAJOR oldies celebration put together … along the same lines of, but even grander than, The Happy Together Tour, bringing in SO many of the other deserving artists who aren’t given a chance to participate in this annual event. 

With that thought in mind, we might have to move things to The Chicago Theater … plus this way you get the whole “Downtown Chicago” experience.  (This will get you closer to a 4000 seat capacity under optimum circumstances.)  At this rate, we’d probably have to book it for an entire week!!!  (Hey, I just can’t wait till things get back to normal again … but we could probably put together a line-up of artists and deejays to fill a whole week there all on our own.  Imagine that … a different group of acts every single night!  At that rate, we could help fill hotel rooms and restaurants, too!!!)  kk

As we expected they would (just not quite this fast!!!), Genesis has already added more dates to their North American Tour kicking off in November.  Second shows have now been added for Chicago, Montreal and New York’s Madison Square Garden.  (Ticket sales for the first fourteen shows were described as “overwhelming.”)  So yeah, now we wanna go!!!  (lol)  Tickets for ALL shows (including these add-on’s) are on now.  (kk)

UPDATE:  Well, this isn’t going to happen … not for us anyway!!!  Ticket prices are thru the roof for this one … mezzanine seats are $400 a piece (plus fees and service charges) and main floor seats range between $800 and $1200 … and we’re talking FACE VALUE here … we’ve already seen broker prices in the $3600 - $5000 range.

Too rich for MY blood.  (I guess if you’re going to limit capacity to 50%, you have to make up for those lost ticket sales SOMEHOW, right?!?!?!)

I’m just hoping this is not a trend moving forward for all live shows … or we may be doing some major scaling back in this regard.  (When faced with the option to go see one two hour concert … or use that same money to take a well-deserved week’s vacation … the choice becomes pretty obvious to me!)

So … unless we WIN tickets … or some promoter COMPS us tickets (not likely … since Genesis isn’t exactly at the top of the Forgotten Hits Artists List!) … or some generous fan or relative decides to buy some mega-expensive tickets for Frannie and I to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary (which falls on November 17th … Chicago’s concert dates are November 15th and 16th, so it WOULD have been perfect!) ... I guess we’ll have to be content to listen to Genesis’ Greatest Hits CD in the car on the way to dinner that night instead.  (Actually, Benihana sounds pretty good right now!!!  Lol)  kk

More and more venues are announcing the Summer and Fall Concerts, hopeful that the pandemic is now in the rearview mirror.

In fact, Milwaukee’s Summerfest has just posted their three week line-up of shows (all pretty much catering to a much younger audience group … which I guess makes sense) … but there are also a few chances to catch some names you’ll recognize …  (kk)

Adrian Belew, The Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Chance The Rapper, Sheryl Crow, Miley Cyrus, Ani DeFranco, The Destoyers, The Drive By Truckers, Flo Rida, The Goo Goo Dolls, Indigo Girls, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Jonas Brothers, Living Color, The Dave Matthews Band, Jesse McCartney, Scott McCreery, Nelly, Night Ranger, Liz Phair, The Psychedelic Furs, Queensyrche, Sheila E, Chris Stapleton, Styx, The Sugarhill Gang, Toad The Wet Sprocket, George Thorogood’s Destroyers, Tower Of Power, The Weather Staton, Wilco, ZZ Top and much, much more.  (List is subject change at any time)  kk

Rick Levy, musical director and manager of The Box Tops, is happy to report that the band is heading back out on the road (I know they’re scheduled to perform here at The Genesee Theatre with Tommy James and the Shondells) and plenty more shows are being lined up.

Here’s the latest: 

THE BOX TOPS ... hitting the road again!

After a year of pandemic shutdown, THE BOX TOPS, led by founding members BILL CUNNINGHAM and GARY TALLEY, will soon begin performing across America. The group was inducted into the prestigious MEMPHIS MUSIC HALL OF FAME for their contribution to the Memphis sound that dominated AM top 40 radio, joining pioneers Elvis Presley, BB King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and more.

THE BOX TOPS are known for their sweet, sensuous, slighty gritty sound, and as you listen, you will feel that gentle southern breeze and smell the smokey barbecue as if you are walking down Beale Street.

Their hits include the worldwide mega smashes THE LETTER, CRY LIKE A BABY, SOUL DEEP and more (8 Billboard Top 40 Chart Hits). With live horns, they perform their hits and classic Memphis rock & soul, which transports audiences back to the late 60s and the Summer of Love.


June 17 Fairbanks AK

June 18 Wasilla AK

June 20 Kenai AK

July 21 Chicago IL

July 22 Nashville TN

July 30 Petoskey MI

Aug 27 Arlington TX

Aug 28 The Woodlands TX

Aug 29 Austin TX

Sept 17 NYC

Sept 18 Westbury NY

Nov 4 Citrus Hills FL

Nov 5 Delray Beach FL

Dec 4 Waukegan IL


March 12 Shippensburg PA


April 14 W Yarmouth MA

April 15 Woonsocket RI

April 16 Old Saybrook CT

May 30 Alto NM

For more information on the BOX TOPS and current tour schedule:


Check out the line-up for the 2022 Disco Cruise … 

KC and The Sunshine Band (special appearance 2/28), Kool & The Gang, The Spinners, Rose Royce, The Ohio Players, Exposé, Russell Thompkins, Jr. & The New Stylistics, Evelyn "Champagne" King, A Taste of Honey, Thelma Houston, Norma Jean Wright, Luci Martin & Alfa Anderson (formerly of Chic), Peaches and Herb, The Hues Corporation, Third World, First Choice, Bee Gees Gold, Boogie Wonder Band, The Ultimate Donna Summer Tribute performed by Rainere Martin, Cruise Host Deney Terrio, and more!

(*Artist lineup subject to change, pending availability)

More information here:


Aaron Neville has announced his retirement from touring on his Facebook Page.  (Neville says he will still record but at this stage of his life … he just turned 80 … he needs his life to be “less hurried.”)

Aaron’s distinctive voice and style and unmistakable … yet his hit tally is FAR less than it should be on the pop charts.  According to Joel Whitburn’s “Top Pop Singles, 1955 – 2018” book, Neville only had four Top 40 Hits during a career that spanned sixty years.  (After gaining on-and-off notoriety with his brothers, we first heard him sing on his 1967 #2 Hit “Tell It Like It Is.”  Didn’t hit The Top 40 again as a solo artist until 1991 when his remake of “Everybody Plays The Fool” reached #8.  In between, he charted twice with Linda Ronstadt on the hits “Don’t Know Much,” #2, 1989, and “All My Life,” #11, 1990.)

Sadly, friends and readers have written in over the past few years about Neville forgetting the words to his songs during concerts (even with the help of a teleprompter) and seeming somewhat disoriented on stage.  This is news we hate to report (and chose not to at the time), but also a good indicator that it very well may be time to take life a little bit easier.

Living through the pandemic most likely influenced this decision as well ...

From Aaron's formal announcement ...


“I have had such an incredible and blessed journey as a musician, singer and human.  The time has come for me to stop ripping and running on the road. I waited for someone to invent a way to beam me from show to show, but no such luck. I love singing for others; it provides so much joy for me, at least as much as for those listening, if not more. Unfortunately, the grueling nature of travel and the schedule needed to make a tour work has become less than desirable.  The current climate of our world brought me many realizations.  Life is short, and I’d like to spend my remaining time on this earth being less hurried.”  (kk)