Thank you to the Illinois Lottery for sending me to the Anything’s Possible, APMusicSeries to check out musical genuises from the past and present!
On a cool Father’s Day night, my friend Antoinette and I (you thought I was going to say Mr. Houseful, didn’t you?) jetted off to the Midwest Bank Theater in Tinley Park to see Ceelo Green and Lionel Richie strut their respective stuff for us…All Night Long. I couldn’t resist. Sue me. The Illinois Lottery has put together a fantastic lineup of artists in their #APMusicSeries on behalf of Live Nation (ahem – along with these two great artists are two of my other favorites, Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae) and will keep it going throughout the summer. With stops all through Illinois, you’re sure to find your pick of a musical genre that you love.
Before we took our place on our wonderful deck for the concert, we did have to stop by to check out the folks who have made this all happen. Illinois Lottery hosted several Anything’s Possible giveaway winners with us, and they each got great goodie bags to go along with their night of song and dance! I also heard that they were doing upgrades for purchasing select lottery tickets, so if you have a chance to go, check out that policy!
The concert was supposed to start at 7:30, but to my surprise and glee, Ceelo took the stage about 15 minutes earlier than planned and sang his heart out. He performed songs from all eras of his music and he has such an impressive resume that it was hard not to be surprised by each and every hit. I first learned about Ceelo, not when he was with Goodie Mob, but when he went into the duo known as Gnarls Barkley. While I was working at Target, one of the managers shared their cd with me, and I loved his voice ever since. It’s so smooth and soulful. The fact that he has so much energy while performing was fantastic as well. He was backed by an entire female band, and they rocked it out! He ended his set with his famous hit (written by my boo Bruno Mars) Forget You (remember, this is a family friendly blog) and the crowd went wild! Hearing the drum beat along with the piano start up the familiar tune set the crowds ablaze. It was a great opening.
I’m not sure what I was expecting with Lionel Richie. I know that I grew up listening to him (I’m in the group that refers to him as Mr. Richie since I wasn’t born while the Commodores were in their prime) and loved watching videos of All Night Long and Dancing On the Ceiling and I was a little bit happy to be a fangirl from the 80’s for a night! I have to admit that watching the Dancing On the Ceiling video still gives me a case of the AHHHHHHHHHHH’s as I had when trying to figure out just how they got him up there in the first place!
Talk about showmanship though. Between his ballads, and piano playing, Richie was all over the stage and entertaining the crowd not only with his vocal showmanship, but with his wit and ability to weave his storytelling into each and every song. Recalling what made him write songs, and how he knows how his fans used them, really made the night so much more fun for me. It was so amazing seeing people from all walks of life, and all stages of life get up and dance to his music made so many great memories come flooding back into my head. Memories of Friday Night Videos, and listening to the radio while cleaning on Saturday mornings. My mom letting us know that Milton Brunson had sampled the Commodores Fire hook when they made “Fire Next Time” It was great. Hearing Brickhouse and Say You, Say Me, along with Three Times a Lady, and Easy just made me appreciate the good music that has always been available for me to listen to. I found myself smiling for no reason as I drove back to my house to prepare for the very long week that I had ahead.
Seeing Mr. Richie move like he had no care in the world, and seem genuinely happy to be singing to US who were happy to be in the midst of HIM made the concert so much more than just hearing words strung together melodically over music. Those lyrics took us All Around the World and brought us back feeling happier than when we entered.