What: The “legendary rock 'n' roll band with horns” from the '70s will perform old favorites and some new material in concert.
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Foellinger Outdoor Theatre, 3411 Sherman Blvd.
Cost: The concert is sold out.
Etc.: Check out the band's website, www.chicagotheband.com, where you can download the first of a series of new original songs by Chicago, “Somethin' Comin', I Know.”
A band that's toured for 46 consecutive years has no doubt seen some ups and downs. For the legendary rock band Chicago, this period in time is one of the ups, largely due to a new generation discovering the band's music.
“We have always had a multigenerational audience,” said original band member Lee Loughnane, 66. “It has been growing and growing and growing.”
Chicago will play Tuesday at Foellinger Outdoor Theatre. The concert is sold out.
The “legendary rock 'n' roll band with horns,” as the band is described in its bio, formed in the '60s in Chicago. The band started out as “Big Thing,” then changed its name to “Chicago Transit Authority,” later shortening it to Chicago. The band moved to California in 1968.
Chicago rocketed to stardom in the early '70s with hits such as “25 or 6 to 4,” “Questions 67 and 68,” “Saturday in the Park” and the ballad “If You Leave Me Now,” Chicago's first Billboard singles chart topper in 1976.
The band enjoyed a resurgence in the mid '80s.
If there's any doubt as to the impact Chicago made on U.S. music, consider this: Billboard magazine's list of the top 100 artists of all time has listed Chicago as No. 13. The band has had 11 No. 1 singles and five consecutive No. 1 albums.
While the band is still recording new songs, Loughnane said in a telephone interview from San Jose that concert audiences prefer to hear Chicago's music from the early years and ballad years.
So in its 46th consecutive year of touring, with four original members, how does the band keep its show fresh? And why, nearly a half-century after they started, are they still touring?
“People want to hear what put us on the map, understandably — that's what they paid for,” Loughnane said. The band accepts that, and at every concert tries to make it sound as if they're playing those classic songs for the first time.
And they really don't get tired of playing them.
“They're not that easy to play,” Loughnane said. “You've got to keep your chops up.”
As for why the band has never broken up or retired, Loughnane says, “Because we still love what we're doing.”