The Park West holds about 1000 people and is located in the Lincoln Park
section of Chicago. Good place to see a show. Usually enough room to move
around, easy to get a drink at one of four or five bars, clean, softly
lit, long history of shows there, mostly an easy going vibe. Love played a
Forever Changes show here in June of 2003.
Anyway, Love files onto stage around 8:30. I'm stunned to see Johnny
Echols among them. People are cheering and Arthur Lee steps up to the mic.
The first thing he says isn't Hello Chicago! or How Ya Doin out there? or
1234! , etc. but " Let me tell you about the manager of this place" in a
tone that suggested the next thing he was going to say was **** the Park
West, We're leaving. Lee went on to express his disgust with the
management in several vague sentences, in the middle of which he snapped
at an exuberant fan for making noise while he was talking. Fortunately he
seemed to let the issue go as quickly as he had brought it up and channel
any remaining frustration into the nights performance, which, as became
quickly apparent, was going to be blistering.
They launched into A House Is Not A Motel as the opener. This song set
a tone that was sustained the entire set, edgey, groovy, tight as a drum.
Revving guitars and hard hitting drums. Echols played the entire show!
band was in what I'd call a protopunk mode and Arthur Lee sang with
thrilling passion. My God, he was in such great voice last night! I saw
them at the Forever Changes show here in 2003 and this actually felt like
a different band they rocked so hard. Arthur never stopped moving, dipping
and diving and thrusting toward the mic - playing guitar, harmonica,
maracas, and tambourine. They were so tight, and many of the songs were
subtly reinterpreted and extended. Signed D.C. must have been 10 - 12
minutes long with both Echols and Randle taking solo turns. Echols was
really integrated well the entire show, and it seemed he took almost as
many leads as Mike Randle. ****ing Brilliant!
This show surpassed any expectations I could have had. They were so
vital and on. Incredible momentum and groove through the entire show. I
didn't expect Arthur to be so vital and passionate and strong of voice.
One last note. I didn't get the sense that The Zombies and Love get
along very well. Neither band mentioned the other during their sets and
there felt like an hour intermission between bands. Love came on first and
left the place devastated. Quite a few people split before The Zombies
came on. I'm quite fond of The Zombies and the Argent/Blunstone reunion,
but the show they're doing right now cannot follow the type of power
Arthur Lee laid down last night. Felt like we went to two different halls
on the same evening, not a double bill.