The Eagle, TX 2-3-72
Chicago: An Artful Machine Grinds Out Contemporary Flashes of Big Band Sound By DAVID G. LANDMANN Eagle Staff Writer Chicago is a machine. It is a well tuned, tightly knit, talented steamroller that sounds like a B-52 and a bluebird. Its gears are made of drums and booming bass, grinding organ, piano and guitar. AND IT HAS HORNS. It is a machine that turned a G. Roolie White full of Aggies, dates, teenyboppers and hangers-on into one gyrating being known as an appreciative audience, and its product might have torn the auditorium- basketball court down if it hadn’t have cranked out an encore. Chicago is Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Robert Lamm, Lee Lughnane, Walter Prazaider, James Pankow and Danny Serphine and it can slam out hard rock artfully with masterful jazz undertones. It’s music brings lightening bolt memories of the big band era with the pulsing sexuality of soul, or it can sing soft and mellow with its flute and keyboard. CHICAGO WAS, in every sense of the word, fantastic but... Throughout Chicago’s entire first set the G. Rollie White audience, as it has in the past, sent out not too subtle reminders that the Chicago concert was taking place in just that place — G. Rollie White Colisum. As Chicago poured out the initial notes of the first song of its first set, the audience began its typical ceaseless shuffle. Entry ramps were alive with latecomers, ushers, people who decided to move to another part of the auditorium, people who decided to have a last-minute cigarette, and just people shifting around. ON THE FLOOR, audience members talked back and forth in louder than average voices, presumably so they could be heard over the music. For two or three terrifying moments it appeared that the Chicago concert was just going to be another nervous, loud, “lets hurry up and leave early so we can beat the rest of the crowd to the parking lots” kind of evening in the huge “tin barn.” But Chicago's music seemed to cry out, “give this machine a chance,” and the audience, after an amazingly short time began to look and act like an audience instead of a conglomeration of people talking in the dark while a band obligingly performed on the stage. And the music was good. Proving to skeptics that heavy rock (Chicago style) can be much more musical than a montage of earsplitting feedback, feedback, the group performed almost flawlessly many of the numbers that make it one of the most popular groups today — “It Better End Soon,” “Fancy Colours,” “25 or Six Two Four,” and a couple of new songs. WHAT WAS REALLY remarkable was the music actually began to get to what some groups have called one of the roughest audiences in the county. Three songs into the second set, Chicago had the crowd on its feet, clapping and cheering for solos performed by Kath, on guitar, Parazaider on sax and Seraphine on drums and chewing gum (which he chomped furiously in time to the music.) The crowd never sat down, a group of people d?nced at the foot of the stage and thousands witnessed something they probably thought they’d never see — an auditoriumful of Aggies grooving..