A double bill to take you back
An appreciation of old fart rock: Go ahead and light up at Doobie
Scoff if you like. Call a double-bill of '70s cheese.
Deride Chicago and the Doobie Brothers as fuddy-duddy rock or old fart jams my parents listen to, but all who attend either of tonight's shows — or enjoy any other show at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion — owe these so-called cheeseballs a debt of gratitude.
The amphitheater and arena rock experience was built on a foundation guitar jams and honey-sweet ballads that these acts, and many of their peers — Journey, Loverboy, REO Speedwagon — created.
The term "arena rock" was made for acts like Chicago and the Doobie Brothers. Both large ensemble acts were built for big stages and meant to play to audiences far vaster than any club could safely manage.
Thirty years ago, if you told people that these two former giants were going on tour together it might have been hailed as one of the major tours of the summer. Today, it is a bit more like two "retro" acts collecting a paycheck by rolling out the hits one more time.
But what a collection of hits they have to roll out.
Chicago, by any stretch of the imagination, will go down as one of the most successful soft rock acts of all-time. After 43 years in existence they have sold more than 122 million albums, which puts them in the company of big-boy rockers like Bruce Springsteen and Fleetwood Mac.
Early hits like "25 or 6 to 4" and "Saturday in the Park" are probably the best examples of their mix of their brass fusion mixed with easy groove guitars, but power ballads like "You're the Inspiration" and "Hard Habit to Break," are what make Chicago a perfect date night concert.
The Doobie Brother haven't sold near as many albums as Chicago, but their career resume' is about as long and songs like "China Grove" and "Takin' It To The Streets" are equally as beloved by a whole generation of so-call old farts.
Chicago/Doobie Brothers, 7:00 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion