The weekend happenings
‘Turn up your mike,’ someone shouted to Procol Harum's lead singer Gary Brooker.
And Brooker said back: ‘The expensive tickets never get the voice. You’ve gotta be in back to get the voice.’
So there were those in the pavilion at Ravinia Friday night who could see, but hear almost nothing but muddle. And people – lots of them – hearing quite well, but clamoring at the fence of the pavilion to be able to see.
Still, just about everyone seemed to be pleased.
The Harum ran the gamut, from their first album – recorded some three years ago – to their new Home, and musically it was hard to tell what was from when [despite all the changes most other groups have gone thru [sic]].
The best things made up a good mixture: Whaling Stories, Still There Will Be More [sic], A Salty Dog and Shine on Brightly.
If only you could hear the vocals.
The Dead Man's Dream is a great song, with beautiful word imagery. But who could hear words? And Whiter Shade of Pale was a total loss. As was The Devil Came from Kansas.
Only Whisky Train was better than on record. It’s a mostly instrumental song – and the instruments were plenty loud. And there were little things like BJ Wilson’s tippy-tapping on the cymbals in Salty Dog and the interplays between Brooker on piano and Robin Trower on guitar in Whaling Stories. Fantastic.
As for who could hear the vocals – Brooker was right, of course. A quick run out to the grass for the last song, Lucille, proved that. People were dancing, and even singing along. And you could hear him all the way out to the far end of the parking lot.
If only I'd gone out there 90 minutes sooner.
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