House of Blues, Chicago, 7.8.06
A group of 8 of us made a road trip from St. Louis to Chicago to see The Bangles. Considering the broad musical diversity of the people involved, Steve Carosello posed an unanswerable question:
What other band could get everyone in this group to Chicago for a show?
(Above, Vicki Peterson) The lowlight of the trip up was when Jon Bitch learned that bassist Michael Steele was no longer with the band. His bubble popped, but the replacement bassist was young, cute and a much better bass player than Michael ever was.
(Above, Debbie Peterson & Susanna Hoffs) But her absence reminded me of seeing Fleetwood Mac without Christine McVie; that other voice was missing. In the case of Steele, I truly missed her low-end harmony parts. Sure, the remaining 3 sounded marvelous and complete without her, but her departure was duly noted.
The band was magical, digging deep into the catalog, a healthy handful from the last studio album, and tossing off all the hits you do want to hear, as well as those I wish they'd skip. All 3 girls look gorgeous, sing better than ever, and genuinely enjoy playing the songs they perfectly execute. It's still hard to fathom being able to see The Bangles in 2006; to have them deliver 110% when even 75% would have been acceptable is a rare treat.
Being 3 Bangles made it much easier to get group shots. Which leads to the venue, The House Of Rules. The place gets more oppressive with every visit, so it always feels good to break at least one of their rules by sneaking in a camera.
Afterwards at a hotel bar, Miami Mike (above, left) invaded our space, yanked beer bottles out of his drawers and tried to get fresh with Joe (above, right).
Above, L-R: Joe's wife Gina, me & Steve.
And, above, Jon Bitch. Not pictured - but ever present - Tony Boyer.