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Old 07-22-2017, 04:02 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

I don't get out to too many concerts lately, but my honey and I went to this one.

I just wanted to share some random thoughts, since I don't do this too much.

Tom Johnston (singer/guitarist of the Doobie Brothers)...he sounds like he did in the 70's IMO. No loss of vocal range. They had Bill Payne of Little Feat on keys. The sound was good for both acts, thankfully.

The Doobies were good. I have to say, only one song really "got me" which was "Long Train Runnin". I don't know why, but no other song gave me "that feeling". The drummer was Ed Toth. While he did nothing wrong...at all...he didn't excite me. I felt he could have put a lot more of himself into his playing. His endings he just coasted through with cymbals. He didn't seem like he wanted to work that hard. Very deadpan.

Tris Imboden was drumming for Chicago. I liked his drumming a lot better. Although I didn't care for what the soundman did to the drum tone. Very clicky bass drum, and overly processed. They had Waldo Reyes Jr. on percussion
While the music was wonderful, I still didn't feel the magic like I used to when I would see concerts.

I don't know if that's due to me knowing a lot of what's going on up there....or....if it was because (I think) they were playing to a click. (Chicago had some visuals that synced up perfectly to the music).

I hope it was me, because if it is the click that is causing my lack of excitement...that means that I can't get off to a click track. Which terrifies me, because so much music is made to a click.

I have to give props to Chicago's newest bass player, Jeff Coffey. Pete Cetera was the original bass player and he did all those high lead vocals. They got a guy now, he's blond like Cetera, vaguely resembles him, and can sing all those great parts perfectly, while playing bass. It's like they got a new version of Cetera. I really liked him, he didn't come off like a hot dog or all full of himself. He just ripped it up and was very normal about it I thought. I think it was Robert Lamm who said that he wishes the new bass player was there from the start, a public missile directed right at Cetera. There's obviously bad blood there.

There were only 3 original members in Chicago, all the horn section. I don't know why Walter Parazaider wasn't there, (he was supposed to be) But Jim Pankow, Lee Loughnane, and Robert Lamm were.

It was a nice show, but today's concerts don't seem to grab me like they did when I was young, before everything was quantified.
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:39 PM
sonormapex sonormapex is offline
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

Interesting..."didn,t grab me like when I was young"..There likely is a lot to that observation.
We all age and slow down whether we admit it or not. Its nature doing its thing. These musicians are no exception, so when I see a concert, I know they are trying hard to shave off 40 years, but it aint going to happen. The energy diminishes and the result is what you picked up on.
I had to play 3 one hour shows lately with a 15 min break between. By the 3rd show, I was pooched. It took everything out of me.
I just enjoy the shows now for what they are, and am so impressed they are still doing what I wish I was doing for a living.
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Old 07-22-2017, 11:49 PM
Stefan Brodsky Stefan Brodsky is offline
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

Not making excuses, but offering a few observations. These guys (both bands) have been doing a ton of shows lately. As noted, it's got to wear on them. The Doobies used to run 2 drummers. Do they still? That seemed to add to their overall feel. Re: Imboden-I've never been super impressed, though technically, he's pretty good. I'm just partial to Danny Seraphine, whose parts I still try and play, while practicing to some of their earlier material, e.g. Chicago II. They're pretty tricky, but they'll make you a better drummer, if you can follow along, which I can for the most part. Agreed, I hate clicky bass drum beats. Lots of guys use their hard plastic beaters and it drives me a up a wall. Personally, I use the felt circle beater which came with my Iron Cobra, or a Danmar hard felt. One's kick should sound like a heartbeat, IMO. Parazaider has been on/off touring for several years now. I too, miss Peter Cetera. Chicago, IMO, has not been the same with out him, Seraphine, and Terry Kath.
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

The Doobie Brothers didn't have two drummers in Camden, NJ where I saw them. All the guys in both bands played their hearts out. Nothing missing there.
And I got to enjoy a concert that was very well lit, no over the top light show. I could see everything that was going on. The music was showcased, not the personalities. It was just the right balance. There were no backing tracks, it was the real deal. I went to a Carrie Underwood concert where the band was in the dark. They were shadows. And the light show was Just. Too. Much. It was way too loud and the reflections were not pleasant. Not my cup of tea.

I apologize if it seems like I was dissing them, I wasn't. I think I am lamenting the loss of imperfection in live music. It all seems so perfect.

On paper that's great. Still, I can't help but feeling that something visceral is lacking.
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

I feel the same Larry - whenever I go to see these legacy acts, I get the same vibe (there was one whole summer when Disney was hosting all these older acts like Gerry and the Pacemakers, or Paul Revere and the Raiders). Although I can appreciate what they're doing musically and their enthusiasm for still getting to put on a show, it's just age catching up. It's very cool to be able to see them though. You figure these bands have to do a great job musically because there are so many tribute bands out there these days.

In fact, it was funny listening to a Liberty DeVitto interview where he said his Billy Joel tribute band is doing a better job than Billy Joel himself because his band still does the songs in all the original keys!

Even when I saw the Police Reunion tour in '07 it didn't hit me as hard as they did in 1981 :(
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

Saw Van Halen at the end of their 2015 tour. DLR was obviously very tired. Wolfgang did a good job, although Michael Anthony was sorely missed.

But Eddie and Alex? Man, I was blown away. Same energy and performance as when I saw them in 1984.
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

I think part of it is as we grow older, we have had so many great experiences, it's hard for additional experiences to live up to the ones we remember.

We get so involved in music, I think, at times, we expect more than the average listener does.

On the other than, many of these legacy acts do seem to be more going through the motions than anything. They have so many non-original members (or no original members) that's not much different than a tribute act. Or worse, it is the original person, but they're no longer doing for the love of music, but just because they don't know what else to do with themselves. No one's going to pay to hear them play different material, so they feel like they have no choice but to go out and play the same ole' songs over and and over again.

I think many older musicians find themselves living the words of John Cougar Mellencamp's famous line "Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone"
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post

I think many older musicians find themselves living the words of John Cougar Mellencamp's famous line "Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone"
Ouch - but I totally agree!

Hearing Sting croon Roxanne in the early days of the Police sounded completely different and more meaningful when they were starving on their way up than it did when I heard him in '07 at Dodger Stadium as a well-fed millionaire.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
Ouch - but I totally agree!

Hearing Sting croon Roxanne in the early days of the Police sounded completely different and more meaningful when they were starving on their way up than it did when I heard him in '07 at Dodger Stadium as a well-fed millionaire.
I remember seeing Sting on the Dream of the Blue Turtles tour, and it was pretty good. Then seeing him again just a few years later, and it was, as Larry described, the band and the drummer (post-Omar Hakim, pre-Vinnie) was just kind of eh..

More recently, I've gone to see Nick (aka Living Dead Drummer) play and one of the many bands he plays in tends to open for some of the legacy bands. We saw Asia, with zero members from their 80's hey day line up, and only guy from any of their line ups, and substitute drummer for the night, yet playing the 80's hits, which was just strange. The players will killer players, the drum solo was amazing, but it might as well have been a tribute band.


Another night we saw Dokken, with two original members, who were tired, drained, and seemed like they were only there because they had nothing better to do that day, while the two hired hands were carrying the show. It was just sad. Even singer Don Dokken was making jokes about being old and how many times does he have to play the same songs, while relying on the hired bass player to hit all the high noted because his own voice was shot. I'm not a fan, but wow, it was just sad.

On a similar note, I love The Who and think they're the greatest band in rock history, but I refuse to go see them live anymore because 1/2 the band is dead, and Roger can barely sing anymore. Age has just caught up with them, and it's just too sad to watch them try and pretend.

Like why Robert Plant refuses to do a full scale Led Zep reunion; he knows he can't, so he does't.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

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Like why Robert Plant refuses to do a full scale Led Zep reunion; he knows he can't, so he does't.
Probably a very smart move on his part. I recall him making fun of David Coverdale, referring to him as "David Coverversion". I get it.

I've been wanting to see some of my favorite bands play these days, but I think I will leave them where they were most exciting for me and decline from seeing any of them.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post

I apologize if it seems like I was dissing them, I wasn't. I think I am lamenting the loss of imperfection in live music. It all seems so perfect.

On paper that's great. Still, I can't help but feeling that something visceral is lacking.
Never go to a Tame Impala concert. They are so synced up to ableton because of all the effects and stuff its basically like watching a DJ gig, and they all look like they hate being there. It reminds me of a saying I always liked - Beauty is in it's imperfections'
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

I haven't seen Tris Imboden with Chicago but when I saw him with Kenny Loggins, 25 years ago maybe?, he was really a crackin' player!. Very inspiring and very musical.
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
I've been wanting to see some of my favorite bands play these days, but I think I will leave them where they were most exciting for me and decline from seeing any of them.
It seems most of my fav bands fall into the camp of only one original member, and I too will ditch the idea of seeing the cover band and hold onto my memories. I've seen my favorite bands many times over... long ago. But remember some awesome times.

Now, I am on a quest to only see bands I've not seen before.
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

And I think it's worth saying that because I'm a musician, it can be more difficult to enjoy things. Hard to let go of the whole nerd factor and be happy lol.

It's absolutely possible, but I have to feel it, which is a highly subjective experience.

If I don't feel it, I'm like, why am I here?

Also is it wrong of me to want to throw a water bottle at the woman 3 rows in front of me who is standing up waving her arms when everyone else is sitting down?
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

It could just be that you'd be more inspired by a band making it happen now rather than a legacy act keeping a 40-year-old show on the road.
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:47 PM
sonormapex sonormapex is offline
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

These old boys are still playing because that's all they know..most of them anyway. While you were learning a trade like plumbing, electrical, teaching etc so you would have a promising future, the old bands just kept playing, and a lot of them that hit the big money just kept playing until it was gone, which kind of explains why they,re still playing.

Since a lot of you who did it right back then, can probably afford a cruise every now and then. Often you see 4 or 5 "where are they now" bands doing a show by joining together, hoping that between them they can make it through the night.
Those cruise gigs are exhausting
I still play for fun since I got off the road many years ago. Unfortunately, a few stragglers who believe this all they can do, continue to do anything that will pay something. They are broke, road worn, angry, brow beaten, etc, and I feel so sorry for them. The last page of every book says "The End"...but we all have choices don't we?
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

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It could just be that you'd be more inspired by a band making it happen now rather than a legacy act keeping a 40-year-old show on the road.
That is a likely factor too. Been there done that?

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These old boys are still playing because that's all they know..most of them anyway. While you were learning a trade like plumbing, electrical, teaching etc so you would have a promising future, the old bands just kept playing, and a lot of them that hit the big money just kept playing until it was gone, which kind of explains why they,re still playing.

Since a lot of you who did it right back then, can probably afford a cruise every now and then. Often you see 4 or 5 "where are they now" bands doing a show by joining together, hoping that between them they can make it through the night.
Those cruise gigs are exhausting
I still play for fun since I got off the road many years ago. Unfortunately, a few stragglers who believe this all they can do, continue to do anything that will pay something. They are broke, road worn, angry, brow beaten, etc, and I feel so sorry for them. The last page of every book says "The End"...but we all have choices don't we?
Great friggin post man.

We all do have choices, if one is strong enough, and resourceful enough, and mentally flexible enough, and not dependent on the next paycheck or person in their life to survive. A lot of people feel stuck, and they could change things, but usually don't. Hey I'm as guilty as the next guy. We all weather more than we'd prefer is my guess.
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

I wonder if some of this reduced enjoyment is due to our hearing not being as crisp as it was twenty years ago. Maybe the sparkle is still there, but we just can't hear it!
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

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I wonder if some of this reduced enjoyment is due to our hearing not being as crisp as it was twenty years ago. Maybe the sparkle is still there, but we just can't hear it!
For me it's a lack of feeling, the reduced enjoyment. Probably because of the never ending analysis. I'm probably not a fun date at a concert lol. Imagine having sex and analyzing the whole process lol. Which makes me wonder if pornstars can enjoy porn lol. Or can football players enjoy a game like a non football player.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

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I try really hard to be open & accepting - finding the positives - letting go of my preconceptions, but sometimes I fail.

All that said, I've never seen these two bands live, & they're both bucket list acts for me. Despite your misgivings, I'm a touch jealous of the opportunity - even sub optimum.
I hear you man. Sometimes I have to force my mind open, it naturally wants to close. I just hope that the machine time is not the cause of my feeling of something lacking. I suspect it is, but I can't be sure. I also can't be sure if the whole concert was machine time, but I'm guessing the coordinated visuals had to be.

The Doobies had no coordinated visuals, but again, everything seemed so perfect, like the record. Normally I like that. So I'm not sure what's going on. It's either machine time, or my personal problem, as far as I can figure.
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

The only names I know off the top of my head in Chicago are Seraphine, Kath, and Cetera- none of which were there. Besides the horn players, that was the core of Chicago. I'd probably feel the same way. Like a tribute band.
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:36 PM
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The only names I know off the top of my head in Chicago are Seraphine, Kath, and Cetera- none of which were there. Besides the horn players, that was the core of Chicago. I'd probably feel the same way. Like a tribute band.
They have been a tribute band for years......Kath was the rocker and was an incredible player but has been dead for almost 40 years! Cetera gets hammered as the one who turned them into a ballad/silly love song band of the '80's that most remember them for. Really not fair because unfortunately, they were headed that way even when Kath was still in the band. He was a fine bass player and had incredible range as a singer. Seraphine was/is one of the best players out there during their hey days........regardless of what is reported, politics not playing is what got him axed. (Imboden is a great player and seemingly a nice guy but just doesn't drive the band the way Serpahine did!). Danny is still playing great today and will be 70 next year. Parazaider has major heart issues allegegedly and only appears with them on special occasions and photo ops. The other two horn players have regular substitutes, as well. They have "dumbed down" their music so much these days; really sad. The "tribute" players are all great musicians, just a slick " Holiday Inn" version of what was once a great inovative band but.......this is just my opinion!
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Saw Chicago and the Doobie Brothers last night

I think that it was it was Grace Slick who said that these bands that try to "keep going" past their prime end up becoming cover bands of themselves. I believe that there is some truth to that.

I don't think there's anything with playing to a click live, because let's face it, many musicians simply suck at keeping time. However, it sure can make the music sound sterile. The last project I was on, I listened to the drum track after the sound tech "pro-tools'ed" it. Basically, he took a 4-measure pattern, quantized it, then looped it all during the verses, and did the same thing during the choruses and the bridge. Although he denies messing with it, I can tell that it's not "me" on the project...it's just a version of me. It absolutely has no "soul" to it at all. In his defense, he had to record EVERY part separately on different days, so it was hard on him, but the recording falls flat.

I play with a click live every time I play on Sunday morning at my church, and I'm here to tell you that it does tighten things up A LOT but there is something very organic that's lost by doing it. For church, it works for us. When I play live with my band, a click track is the last thing I want.

I will say that something is lost in watching live music once you reach a certain level experience in playing live yourself. It takes A LOT to get my attention now and to musically excite me in the audience. It's not that I'm that great of a drummer, but I sure have done it a bunch. I'm very thankful for my experiences I've had, but it does sort of ruin the fun sometimes.
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