Chicago and Doobie Brothers
August, 5 2012
Raleigh, NC
TWC Music Pavilion
Concert Review by Joseph Hett

Chicago and the Doobie Brothers Rock Raleigh

The Chicago and Doobie Brothers’ co-headline tour made a stop in Raleigh, NC on Sunday evening at the TWC Music Pavilion. Both bands brought a hit filled setlist and put on a rocking three-hour show.

The Doobie Brothers opened with “Jesus is Just Alright,” and then took a trip to Motown with “Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” with Tom Johnston on lead vocals.

They were very sharp and sounded spot-on with their signature harmonizing sound. They consistently showcased high energy throughout their set.

“Clear as the Driven Snow,” a deeper cut off “The Captain and Me” album, was played next. It was a psychedelic tune with an acoustic beginning and loud electric ending.

The Doobie Brothers also showcased a couple songs from their 2010 album “World Gone Crazy.” First was a Jamaican influenced song titled “A Brighter Day” and then the song “World Gone Crazy.”

Patrick Simmons and John McFee showcased their picking ability with the acoustic number “Slat Key Soquel Rag.”

Then Simmons sang lead vocals and McFee played pedal steel for “South City Midnight Lady.” Marc Russo later joined in on saxophone to close out the song.

They ended their set heavy on hits with “Black Water,” “Long Train Runnin’” and “China Grove.”

Their final song was “Without You,” where McFee got a rare chance to showcase his lead vocals.

The Doobie Brothers finished up, but fans were in for a treat a little later on.

Chicago came out next to their usual opening song sequence of “Make Me Smile” and “Colour My World” all combined into one ballad.

They then immediately went into “Dialogue (Part I & II).”

Walter Parazaider, original saxophone player, was absent and replaced by Ray Herrmann. Herrmann was an applicable replacement since he was just as good as Parazaider.

On “Just You ‘N’ Me,” the Peter Cetera sounding replacement singer, Jason Scheff, performed it almost spot-on.

For “If You Leave Me Now,” a guest singer was brought on stage. For the past several years Chicago has sponsored an auction with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. The highest bidder gets to join the band on the stage and sing a song.

Robert Lamm stepped down off of the keyboard plateau and was handed an acoustic guitar, and everyone knew it was time for “Beginnings.”

They relied heavy on the classic hits to end their set also. They cranked out “I’m a Man,” “Saturday in the Park” and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry/Get Away.”

They then finished up with “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” and quickly left the stage.

It was now time for Chicago and the Doobie Bothers to join together for a mega encore.

Johnston got them started with “Rockin’ Down the Highway.” Everyone took turns on vocals and lead roles through the joined encore.

During the Chicago song “Free,” a big American flag dropped down from the rafters on above the stage. Russo and Herrmann showcased harmonizing saxophones with “Takin’ it to the Streets.”

They closed out the encore with “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is,” “Listen to the Music” and “25 or 6 to 4.”

It was a truly fun-filled night since both bands were on their A-game. You could tell there was a lot of chemistry on stage. It was a great tour package to see both bands on one ticket.