From the Windy City to Waikoloa


It’s not all that close to the Fourth of July, but if you want to spend a Saturday in the park with Chicago, you’ll soon have your chance.

The princes of horn-infused gentle jazzy pop play Jan. 12 at the Waikoloa Bowl. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the show starts at 7:30.

The show is part of a three-show Hawaii jaunt for the veteran showmen — they play Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu Jan. 11 and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahalui Jan. 15.

The Hawaii dates are the first of more than 100 shows the band plans to play this year.

Keyboard player and vocalist Robert Lamm, one of the original members of the band that formed in 1967, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I enjoy playing, I enjoy the road, I enjoy seeing a new town every day,” he said. “The road physically has always been a chore but I happen to enjoy traveling; if I wasn’t traveling with the band, I’d be traveling the world with my wife. So to me it’s all the same.”

The band has 25 Top 40 singles — including “Saturday in the Park,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” “You’re the Inspiration” and “If You Leave Me Now” — and has sold more than 100 million records.

Chicago still hits the studio on a regular basis as well.

“Music is one of these things that is an infinite endeavor,” Lamm said. “I’m a composer — I’m always looking to explore.”

The band released its 33rd album in 2012, “O Christmas Three,” a reference to the band’s penchant for numbering its albums.

Lamm will be joined on stage Jan. 12 by fellow original members Walt Parazaider on woodwinds, Lee Loughnane on trumpet and James Pankow on trombone.

Newer members include Keith Howland on guitar, Lou Pardini on keyboards and vocals, singer and bassist Jason Scheff and Tris Imboden on drums.

Despite the many personalities and lineup changes over four decades, Lamm said the band has always gotten along well.

“There’s never been a super-blow up crisis,” he said.

He ascribes the harmony to the band’s choices of members.

“We try to have people with good character and a good work ethic who don’t have those big egos,” he said.

When asked what keeps driving Lamm to play in Chicago for twoscore and more, he replied:

“Our life is music, it’s an honorable thing.”

General admission tickets for Chicago are $65 and $49, and are on sale at CD Wizard in Hilo, Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, KBXtreme in Kona and Persimmon at Queens’ MarketPlace, and at Ticketmaster outlets at Walmart in Hilo and Kona.

A limited number of reserved section $95 tickets are available online only at ticketmaster.com or waikoloanights.com.