Detroit Free Press, 8-17-72 Pine Knob review
s Si I H 5 I Ji. -rfi. -rfi. m , - earns at BY JOHN WLISMAN Free Prest Rock Critic The, impact' and following which Chicago, who ppened a five-night five-night five-night stand at Pine Knob Tuesday fevening, has in Detroit audiences cannot toe denied. The rock septet is playing all week to sold-out sold-out sold-out houses and will probably gross Cjo'se to a quarter of a million dollars for this sojourn. But popularity and financial success is' little gauge of genius in these days. Despite the affectionate opening night crowd, and a more-than-adequate more-than-adequate more-than-adequate more-than-adequate more-than-adequate number of decently played material, Chicago is still, in the poet's words, "hog-butcher "hog-butcher "hog-butcher to the world." SOME HALF-decade HALF-decade HALF-decade ago, the group hit a certain musical stride which became a popu-larvand, popu-larvand, popu-larvand, successful format Chicago is better than other groups of its Ilk Blood, Sweat and Tears which it can play off the stage, and Lighthouse, too. And occasionally, one of the group's longer .pieces, such as the suite entitled "Ballet For i Girl From Bufchartnpn" transcends the everyday everyday quality their music has, and develops icto something' special. Despite the interior rhythmic changes, time-signature time-signature time-signature jumps and all that tight playing, playing, Chicago has a clean, together sound of talented but pedestrian studio musicians. Pine Knob They are given to flashes of rare talent, but denied, lamentably, true genius. Chicago perfected perfected their style and manj of their riffs long ago, and have never seen fit to change them. What a pity. Their rave-fave rave-fave rave-fave hits "25 or Six To Four," "Free," "I'm a Man," and the latest, "Saturday "Saturday in the Park," have the impolite, gutty feci that personifies their namesake city. But others others "While the City Sleeps," "Introduction," "Song for Richard and His Friends," are almost almost polite and are far too manicured to be effective. ' As soloists, the band can be proud of pianist-composer-vocalist pianist-composer-vocalist pianist-composer-vocalist pianist-composer-vocalist pianist-composer-vocalist pianist-composer-vocalist Robert Lamm and woodwind artist Walter Parazaider, who both manage some inspired, sensitive work. The others even trombonist Jim Pankow, the only member of the group who showed any signs of life onstage played competently, competently, hut provided no life onstage. There is more electricity on their albums than there was on the stage at Pine Knob on Tuesday. Things were not helped by the fact that Chicago Chicago chose to position themselves far upstage upstage on Pine Knob's massive thrust, thereby thereby further separating themselves from their audience. , It was an evening ot cheap 'thrills. Instead of kicking out the jams, Chicago is content to putt them out a bitter disappointment to this critic if not to the audience.