Chicago and The Doobie Brothers play to the audience at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Ampitheatre
Review by Caroline Wuertz, photos by Danielle Boise
A teeming and excited crowd welcomed The Doobie Brothers to the stage, as the band responded eagerly with a powerful and equally energetic opening. The Doobie Brothers continued to warm up the audience with their violin centered tune, “Blackwater,” in which the lyrics of “Mississippi Moon” were changed to “Georgia Moon” – a revision the audience thoroughly enjoyed. With a driving bass and dynamic saxophone, they demonstrated their excellent musicianship in “Listen to the Music.” The set was finished out with “China Grove” and “Without You,” leaving the audience on their feet.
After a short break, Chicago took to the stage. They began their set with the energetic “Saturday” and smoothly segued into the slower “Colour My World,” a simple but beautiful melodic song with piano, vocals and a flute solo. Following “Dialogue,” they played “You’re My Inspiration” which was introduced with the humorous comment of having two audiences – “those who were married to it and those who were conceived to it.” Next, as part of a fundraiser to raise money for the American Cancer Society, two lucky winners joined Chicago in singing one song each. “Searchin’ So Long” and “Hard Habit to Break” led nicely into “Beginnings,” an ironically titled song from their first album. Chicago brought their show to a close, rounding out their set with its opener, “Saturday.”
To the audience’s surprise, both Chicago and The Doobie Brothers joined the stage together for a grand total of 17 band members – a truly orchestrated encore. True musicianship is required to coordinate so precisely a large group such as this, and they made it seem effortless. With an unusually long encore of eight songs, they covered great ground, alternating between both artists’ songs, including Chicago’s “Feelin’ Stronger Everyday” and The Doobie Brothers’ “Rockin’ Down the Highway.” It all ended on an incredibly powerful note with Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4,” whose famous, soulful guitar solo was divided up and passed off between each of the four guitarists ending again in unison.
All photos by Danielle Boise