In spite of the generation that separated each act, pairing War with Los Lonely Boys was actually quite a complimentary match at Ravinia. Not only did Los Lonely Boys instantly call War their heroes, but the veteran headliners clearly shared in the mutual admiration society as they invited the younger guys on stage to joyfully improvise through the classics “Spill The Wine” and “Cisco Kid.”
The multi-cultural troupe also keep fans guessing with a farewell of “The World Is A Ghetto/Get Down,” concurrently offering one of the band’s most chilling social commentaries and a chance for everyone to further show off their mighty chops.
Indeed, when original singer/keyboard player Lonnie Jordan said “fasten your seat beats because we’re gonna play a lot of hits- our hits,” he wasn’t kidding. In addition to those summer-ripe fusions of funk, rock and soul, War also weaved around fellow jams “Me And My Baby Brother,” “Slippin’ Into Darkness” and “Galaxy,” plus smooth ballads such as “All Day Music” and “Summer.”
With War, no two shows are ever the same, whether it was the increasingly elongated “Low Rider” (complete with a harmonica interlude of “The Star-Spangled Banner”) or an unplanned encore of the robust “Gypsy Man” (written right here in Chicago on a Thanksgiving in the early ‘70s). The multi-cultural troupe also keep fans guessing with a farewell of “The World Is A Ghetto/Get Down,” concurrently offering one of the band’s most chilling social commentaries and a chance for everyone to further show off their mighty chops.
Speaking of sizzling hybrids, Los Lonely Boys also banged out a spicy Tex Mex sound culled from an influence pool that surely includes bits of Santana, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The band of brothers spent about 75 minutes delivering tunes from the past decade, impressing the still arriving audience with the newer groove “So Sensual,” the howling licks of “Cottonfields And Crossroads,” and finally, the pure pop/gospel glow of “Heaven” as the crowd transformed into a divine choir.
Upcoming concert highlights at Ravinia include Tony Bennett (Aug. 13); Don Henley (Aug. 14-15); Judy Collins (Aug. 18); Go-Go’s (Aug. 19); John Fogerty (Aug. 25); Train with Andy Grammer (Aug. 26-27); Seal (Aug. 28); Ms. Lauryn Hill (Sept. 1); Marty Stuart and Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters (Sept. 2); Bonnie Raitt (Sept. 3); O.A.R. (Sept. 4); Classic Albums Live presents David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” (Sept. 9); “The Wizard of Oz” with Chicago Philharmonic (Sept. 10) and Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II (Sept. 11). For additional details, visit Ravinia.org.