Category Archives: Music

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Linda flew in to Chicago for a long weekend and to escape her Disney projects. Dani and I met her at Midway with Korean Barbecue tacos from the nearby Dos Ricco’s Mexican and Asian Cuisine. I like the Korean taco, … Continue reading

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Four Concerts, Seven Bands, Five Days

It’s been a busy few days in Chicago. I originally booked this trip for the Vienna Teng concert and launch of her new album, but as the timing worked out I was able to also fit in the Hart Davis … Continue reading

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Lang Lang at Ravinia

Chinese pianist Lang Lang rose to fame with his first performance at Ravinia in 1999, when he was just 17, as a last minute substitution. He returned this year for his 12th Ravinia appearance. It was a cool night for … Continue reading

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Why Are Concerts So Loud?

I’ve never been to a concert that wasn’t too loud. But last night’s One Republic concert set records. Even though we always wear earplugs, our front row edge seats were right in front of the sub woofer, and we were … Continue reading

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Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty at Ravinia

For the Fourth of July Dani and I took the Metra up to Ravinia Park for dinner and a concert, rather than watch the Evanston fireworks from her balcony. The timing on the train worked out pretty well, because we … Continue reading

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Jackson Browne at Ravinia

We have a full summer of concerts planned, mostly at Ravinia, the wonderful outdoor venue north of Evanston. We usually sit in the pavilion, but for this concert we could only get lawn tickets, which turned out to be lots … Continue reading

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Wynton Marsalis

We decided to check out the downtown venue used by the Chicago Symphony, but since they are playing opera at Ravinia, we went to a jazz concert by the Wynton Marsalis Quintet. Before the concert we had lunch at one … Continue reading

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Gotye and Missy Higgins

Last night we went to Chicago’s other outstanding outdoor performance space, The Charter One Pavilion near the Field Museum, to see Missy Higgins and Gotye. Charter One Pavilion offers a great view of the city, and you can walk along … Continue reading

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Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers) and Boz Scaggs at Ravinia

For our final Ravinia concert of the year, Dani and I went to see The Dukes of September, a twelve piece band headed by Donald Fagen (half of Steely Dan), Michael McDonald (lead singer of the Doobie Brothers), and Boz … Continue reading

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Train, Matt Kearney and Andy Grammer

I’d always heard that Train was a very fan-friendly band, and they certainly demonstrated that last night at Ravinia. Through constant interaction with the audience, including inviting guests up on the stage to help them perform, they kept everyone excited … Continue reading

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Caleb Hawley and Theo Katzman

SPACE is definitely the best concert venue I’ve been to. And when you have the front center cocktail table it’s even better. Last night we saw Caleb Hawley and Theo Katzman there. They’re part of a four-piece band that reconfigures … Continue reading

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Coldplay

Coldplay put on quite a show last night at the United Center in Chicago. The show started two hours after the time on the tickets, due to a warm up act we (probably mercifully) missed and one we didn’t miss, … Continue reading

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Crosby, Stills and Nash at Ravinia

This was one of the best shows I’ve seen at Ravinia. I liked the band’s 1969 and 1970 albums, and their individual solo albums, but haven’t really followed them. So it was a pleasant surprise to discover they are a … Continue reading

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Ravinia: Santana

Santana was good, but of course they couldn’t compare to last night. They were very generous with their time, playing all their hits, and as near as I could tell every song from their second and third albums. In fact, … Continue reading

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Ravinia: Marvin Hamlish, Idina Menzel, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Tonight we went to a concert I was expecting to just be so so, and it was fantastic. It was in the open air stage a Ravinia. The hundred degree weather of the past week had abated, and it was … Continue reading

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Kinky Friedman

One of the funniest authors I know is Kinky Friedman. He began his career in the 60s as a folk musician with the band The Texas Jewboys, and also played backup for Bob Dylan and many others. His biggest hits … Continue reading

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Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Showcase

My favorite entertainment event of the year is the Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Showcase. It’s held a Northwestern University’s Theatre and Interpretation Center. Each year Master Teachers Craig Carnelia (Tony Award-nominated composer and lyricist), Andrew Lippa (Grammy Award-nominated composer and lyricist) … Continue reading

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Hall and Oates at Ravinia

Here’s a trivia question for you: What is the biggest selling musical duo of all time? Awww, you peeked. Yup, it’s Hall and Oates. Don’t bother to try to guess who’s number two. (It’s The Pet Shop Boys.) Clearly, there … Continue reading

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Songwriters Showcase

Last night we attended the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Showcase, where 16 incredibly talented young songwriters show off the songs they’ve written during the past week’s workshop. Last year it was the highlight of the summer shows we saw, and it … Continue reading

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Deep Purple at the Ravinia Festival

Ravinia is an outdoor music festival founded in 1904. It’s a few miles North of Evanston. Dani and I went to see Deep Purple with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and opening band Ernie and the Automatics. Dinner at the upstairs … Continue reading

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Owl City

Dani and I went to see Owl City at The House of Blues. The first warm-up band, Unwed Sailor, consisted of a talented drummer and three people who stared at the floor.  In the absence of any melody or words (no … Continue reading

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The 5 Browns

The 5 Browns is a classical music group of five siblings—Desirae, Deondra, Gregory, Melody and Ryan Brown—who play piano. Five pianos. All Steinways, all at the same time. They put on a great show last night at the Plaza, playing … Continue reading

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Rachael Sage

Martin and I went to see Rachael Sage, one of my favorite performers. It was no small feat finding this concert, which was inexplicably part of the monthly Orlando Folk Music meeting. It was originally advertised as being at a … Continue reading

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Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow rarely leaves Vegas these days, but last night he kicked off a new tour at the Amway Center in Orlando. This is the second concert I’ve seen there, and the jury is still out on the acoustics, but … Continue reading

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Elton John

Elton John has devoted this year to resurrecting the career of Leon Russell, his early inspiration. At Daytona Beach last night Sir Elton even came out first to introduce Leon’s half hour set. Leon’s long white hair and beard make … Continue reading

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The Eagles

The Eagles played the first big concert at the new Amway Center. The event was actually rescheduled from an earlier date because Don Henley was sick. At nearly the last minute we decided to get tickets and were surprised at … Continue reading

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An Evening With Stephen Schwartz

I made orange rolls for breakfast, in my ongoing effort to clear out the fridge for vacation. Then for lunch we walked down to Addis Abeba and had a platter of mostly vegetarian offerings — very tasty. On the way … Continue reading

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Songwriter’s Showcase

Dani had her chemistry midterm this morning. It sounds like it wasn’t as hard as it could have been, but in any event she’s glad it’s over and she can enjoy the weekend. She’s looking forward to being done in … Continue reading

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The Doobie Brothers and Chicago

I walked up to Windy City Garden Center on Green Bay Road. It’s basically a fenced lot with some tables of flowers. My goal was to find some flowers to put into the two planters where the seeds I planted … Continue reading

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James Taylor and Carole King

Dani said that her final exam went well. It took all three hours for her to do it and check it. We rented a car and picked up the footstools I bought at World Market, which are very nice. It’s … Continue reading

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