At 71, he’s still having fun. Close your eyes and open your ears: You hear the voice of Chicago.
Singer-songwriter Cetera, an original member of the pop-rock group Chicago, delighted a crowd of some 1,400 fans Saturday at MontBleu Resort, Casino & Spa. Cetera didn’t miss a note, delivering a polished 1-hour, 45-minute performance and allowing his seven-piece backup band, the Bad Daddy’s, to shine as well.
Cetera played bass and belted out No. 1 hits for Chicago from the late 1960s until 1985, when he embarked on a solo career that still rolls on. His Lake Tahoe concert seemed like an edition of All the Hits, All the Time, transporting fans back to the days of what is now considered classic rock. The band is now in the midst of its Timeless Tour.
Decked out in a suit and sharing anecdotes with the audience, he seemed at ease and no worse for wear after traveling from a show in Vancouver the previous night. Yes, he still enjoys singing the songs he wrote decades ago and joked he is reminded of his glory days all the time – “in the supermarket, or the elevator or at the dentist.”
A brilliant balladeer, he delivered “Glory of Love,” the theme song for Karate Kid II, early in the show, before joining vocalist Jamelle Fraley in a duet to cover a Cher tune, “After All.” Cetera and Fraley also shared lead vocals in “The Next Time I Fall.”
A former backup vocalist for Carrie Underwood, Fraley took center stage to unleash a moving rendition of “You’re No Good,” a Linda Ronstadt staple.
Guitarist Chris Rodriguez also had his moments in the spotlight, sharing vocals with Cetera on several songs, including an impressive version of Chicago’s “Dialogue, Part I and II.” Rodriguez shined while singing the Beatles’ “Come Together,” and jammed with fellow guitarist Tony Obrohta on a number of tunes. All the while, Cetera directed traffic: “This is the greatest band I’ve ever been with,” he said. “They show up on time…”
The Chicago classics kept on coming throughout the first set: “If You Leave Me Now,” “Stay the Night,” “You’re the Inspiration,” “Hard Habit to Break,” and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.” After 16 songs, the musicians stepped aside briefly.
Concertgoers rose up and demanded more. Cetera and crew returned for a rocking encore, first covering “I’m a Man” by the Spencer Davis Group and then closing with two Chicago songs, “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” and “25 or 6 to 4.”
At that point, it was 5 or 6 to 11 and the band took a bow. Fans departed, inspired and feeling stronger.
- Peter Cetera
MontBleu Resort, Casino & Spa, Lake Tahoe
Oct. 3, 2015
- “Restless Heart”
- “One Good Woman”
- “Glory of Love”
- “After All” (Cher cover, duet with Jamelle Fraley)
- “Apple of Your Daddy’s Eye”
- “If You Leave Me Now” (Chicago song)
- “Stay the Night” (Chicago song)
- “You’re the Inspiration” (Chicago song)
- “Even a Fool Can See”
- “The Next Time I Fall” (duet with Jamelle Fraley)
- “You’re No Good” (Linda Ronstadt cover, sung by Jamelle Fraley)
- “Come Together” (Beatles cover, sung by Chris Rodriguez)
- “Save Me”
- “Hard Habit to Break (Chicago song; C. Rodriguez sharing vocals)
- “Dialogue (Part I & 2)” (Chicago song; C. Rodriguez sharing vocals)
- “Hard to Say I’m Sorry / Get Away” (Chicago song)
- “I’m a Man” (Spencer Davis Group cover)
- “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” (Chicago song)
- “25 or 6 to 4” (Chicago song)