Concerts That Rocked, Rolled and Strolled

Tue. April 9, 2019 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

It seems like every musician is drifting through Illinois these days. Like a beautiful tumbleweed Texan Kacey Musgraves rolled into The Chicago Theatre recently for a postponed show. She explained that the cold weather kept her away.

Since the reschedule Musgraves' career has exploded. Her 2018 album Golden Hour won all four of its categories at the 61st Grammy awards including Album of the Year. The record also just won Album of the Year at the 52nd Annual Country Music Association Awards.

She began the March 23 concert with "Slow Burn"and took a while to warm up. This was a sing along show with crowd crooning to almost every lyric. Luckily, they were hanging on with the slow songs and you could tell she really wanted everyone to just dance and have fun.

Musgraves was of course charming with her banter and encouraged diversity with her LGBT fanbase that was in attendance. Her husband Ruston Kelly came onstage to duet with the Johnny Cash track "To June This Morning."

Her opener Liza Anne also joined her for a cover of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," but she needed to bring some local drag queens as she had in the past to pump up the room.

Tracks like "Follow Your Arrow," "Rainbow" and "High Horse" were of course big favorites with everyone in attendance.

Look for more Musgraves back in Chicago this summer at Lollapalooza as a rare country act in August.

My first concert ever was Billy Idol back in 1987 at the Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville, Tennessee. That made it extra special to see the punk rocker on tour with his buddy Steve Stevens for a stripped down show in Joliet, Illinois in March.

Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged was traveling across the United States and taking no prisoners. Hits like "White Wedding" and "Rebel Yell" have held up well over the years. I was a bit concerned that being unplugged would make the songs not as smooth as I remembered them, but that quickly washed away.

Favorites like "Eyes Without a Face" and "Cradle of Love" were all there for people to enjoy. Idol told stories about days gone by and the history of his classic hits.

The fans rocked out until the very last song and Idol even signed my book after the show, completing the experience!

Like Musgraves, Idol is back in town this summer for Naperville's Ribfest July 3. Rock on with some ribs!