By James Currie
What do you get when you combine one part ‘The Runaways’ with ‘Fanny’ then mix in a little nostalgia and back filled with extreme talent – The Motivator tour. Last night at Chicago’s City Winery, Chicagoans were treated to the refined blend of rock that was equal to any of the fine wines served as Cherie Currie and Brie Darling performed classic tracks by their former bands as well as new music from their recent collaboration effort, The Motivator.
The latest album features a who’s who of special guests that range from family members to former lovers and even a Brady kid (Susan Olson). It’s a tribute of sorts record filled with covered from artists they love and respect. Tracks are rework into their own unique blend. Some of the artists they cover include T-Rex, The Rolling Stones, The Youngbloods, John Lennon and The Kinks. This tour is in support of that release as well as they pepper in a smidgen of their own classic songs. Their live touring band consists of some pretty amazing talent as well as Nick Maybury joins on guita, Dave Schulz on the keyboard, Phil Leavitt on the Drums and Michael Devin (a Jesus looking man if I ever saw one) on bass.
The night kicked off with one of Chicago’s premiere indie rockers, White Mystery. Alex and Francis White (brother sister duo) have been representing the Chicago indie garage rock scene since 2008. Tonight, they did the city proud again as they belted through their set leaving the audience ready for more.
On this tour, the headlining female rock icons brought out a backing band of incredible talent as they played cuts from the new album as well as each others prior works and covers. The new songs from The Motivator album live worked. They sounded even better than the release. The two bounce off each other sharing lyrics and interactions with their fans. Darling even jumping back and kicking it on drums for a performance of her old bands song, “When We Need Her”.
Currie and Darling are without a doubt rock royalty. They are professionals with a purpose – to kick down the doors and rock your face off. And this night, they did. Besides the original begin so strong live, they broke out the covers that got the crowd singing along and out of their seats. Highlights for me included a version of ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers’ (Stevie Wonder) “Higher Ground”, “Gimme Shelter” (Rolling Stones) and “The Motivator” (T-Rex).
During the set we learned Cherie Currie was nearing (November 30th) as she flubbed an intro to a song saying, “Hey, I’m the one that’s almost 60, gimme a break.” then asked the band to start over and Darling for the first line of the song. Getting right back into it, they continued as if nothing happened and the audience took it all in stride.
The set started and ended with The Runaways. First up, “American Nights” and ending the night with the fan favorite and always rabble rousing, “Cherry Bomb”. This one had everyone out of their seats, fist pumping in the air and shouting, “Hello Dad, Hello Mom… ch-ch-ch-ch CHERRY BOMB!”
For more on Cheri Currie & Brie Darling, click here
For photos from the show at City Winery, click here
Setlist: Cheri Currie & Brie Darling live at City Winery Chicago, IL November 25, 2019
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