Thursday, August 2, 2012

Backstage with Chicago & The Doobie Brothers at DTE

Even after 40 years, the legendary group Chicago still knows how to rock Pine Knob.
Playing to an enthusiastic crowd at DTE Energy Music Theatre last night, the 8 piece band ran through all their hits and then some, teaming up with The Doobie Brothers for an action packed evening.

The Doobies opened up the night with about an hour on their own before Chicago took over as the headliner.  Then, with an absolute blast of hit-packing force, the two groups joined together on stage for an encore set that featured an alternating run of each others' monster songs. 

When 16 talented guys come together with horns and guitars wailing on classic tunes like 'Takin It To The Streets', 'Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is', and '25 or 6 to 4' as a fan you certainly get your money's worth. 

If you actually paid for your tickets, that is...

The Wifey and I, with another couple of great friends, enjoyed the show from some incredible pavilion seats, courtesy of Chicago-guitarist Keith Howland.  Howland has been playing in this band with his heroes for over 17 years now and I wrote a profile interview on him for back in March.

Click Here To Read My Interview With Keith Howland!

Not only did he set me up with tickets, but he also graciously invited us backstage before and after the show.  Let me tell you this...climbing up onto the center of the PINE KNOB STAGE moments before the Doobie Brothers launched into 'Jesus is Just Alright With Me' was pretty damn cool!

I've been going to concerts here since I was 14, but I've never gotten the opportunity to enjoy an ice cream sundae backstage...until last night.  Sitting in the dining room with the rest of the band at adjoining tables, we got a chance to talk about the great guitarists that Howland reveres, like Eddie Van Halen, Steve Lukather from Toto, and the incomparable Jeff Beck.

Oh, and I had a double chocolate chip cookie with a lemonade too. 
Ahhh, the spoils of a pretend rock star!

Howland is one of those guys that just loves live music and loves his kids, so it's super easy for me to talk to him.  Yeah, yeah, I know...
Go ahead...
Make fun of me now, but I'll admit it...
I like the guy!

The weather was perfect for this traditional rocking summer bill, and so was the hospitality.

Thanks Keith!
Keep 'Rockin Down The Highway' and I'm sure we'll cross paths again.
(Yeah, I know that was a Doobie Brothers reference, but he actually played on the song last night OK?!)

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