ROCK­ING OUT

CHICAGO AND THE DOO­BIE BROTH­ERS TAKE IT TO THE STREETS FOR THE MOST SING-ALONG SETS OF THE SUM­MER.

Austin Way - - SCENE | STYLE | SPACE - BY KAREN ROSE

Do your sum­mer plans in­volve play­ing shows for tens of thou­sands of peo­ple at am­phithe­aters across the US? And have you been do­ing that kind of thing for 50 years straight? No? Then you must not be a mem­ber of the sem­i­nal rock band Chicago.

“Those 50 years went by rather quickly,” laughs key­boardist/ vo­cal­ist/song­writer Robert Lamm, who co­founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame group in 1967, pen­ning such en­dur­ing, sing-along clas­sics as “25 or 6 to 4” and “Satur­day in the Park.” Fronted by new lead singer and bassist Jeff Cof­fey, who sings the old Peter Cetera/Ja­son Sch­eff tunes (“Jeff’s a more in­tense ver­sion of his pre­de­ces­sors,” says Lamm), Chicago is joined on the road by old friends the Doo­bie Broth­ers, of “Lis­ten to the Mu­sic” and “China Grove” fame.

“We love play­ing to a crowd and in­ter­act­ing,” says Doo­bies co­founder/gui­tarist/vo­cal­ist Tom John­ston. “And th­ese out­door shows have a fes­tive at­mos­phere— I’m in­vested in get­ting peo­ple out of their seats and rock­ing.”

Each band has a cat­a­log of songs that’s five decades deep, so will you hear your faves? “The chest­nuts are there,” re­veals John­ston. “Those four or five songs that we al­ways play. But there are also deep al­bum cuts that we haven’t played in years.”

Lamm adds, “It would take us many hours to play all our hits.” With 21 top-10 sin­gles and 36 al­bums (25 of them cer­ti­fied plat­inum), he’s not kid­ding. “We can in­ter­change them and still make two hours of pop­u­lar songs. It’s a bless­ing.” June 17, Austin360 Am­phithe­ater; austin 360am­phithe­ater.com

“I’M IN­VESTED IN GET­TING PEO­PLE OUT OF THEIR SEATS AND ROCK­ING.” —TOM JOHN­STON

For Chicago, tour­ing is a hard habit to break. “Re­tire? And do what?” asks Robert Lamm (ƜƞƧƭƞƫ . “What’s bet­ter than be­ing in a rock band?” The group hasn’t missed a year on the road since 1967; their first show with cur­rent tour bud­dies the Doo­bie Broth­ers, ƛƞƥƨư with Tom John­ston at cen­ter was in 1973.

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