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Friday, September 22

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Concert Sun Feb 22 2009

James Earl Jones wishes Abe a happy birthday.

I am of the firm opinion that James Earl Jones narrating anything is cool. Saturday night, a sold out Symphony Center shared that sentiment.

The Lincoln Bicentennial Tribute at Symphony Center featured the backing of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who alone may not be enough to pull people out to a southern Michigan Avenue address in what seems to be an everlasting winter. The program featured music that old Abe himself liked; marches, symphonies, and lighter fare. But the main draw was undoubtedly James Earl Jones himself.

Making his debut at Symphony Center, he, along with Kevin Gudahl and Gerard McBurney, put the "words" into the program's theme of "A Likeness in Words and Music". Jones read poetry by Walt Whitman and Carl Sanberg, while Gudahl and McBurney read some of his letters and articles of the day that attempted to portray Lincoln as a man with a good sense of humor as well as personable to others. Of particular interest were the recollection of Lincoln's first inauguration ball and a letter he wrote his wife while still an Illinois representative.

The second part of the evening, after intermission, was the Orchestra's rendition of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, for which quite a few people stayed around for. But Jones earned the star of the night as he recounted a series of Lincoln quotes, including the Gettysurg Address. And when he boomed out, that James Earl Jones way, the last few lines - " that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth"- that was, without exaggeration - pretty damned awesome.

There will be another engagement on Tuesday, but sources tell me those tickets are long sold out.

EDIT: No, tickets are NOT sold out. Tickets are available in the boxes and in the lower balcony. Get over and buy, forthwith!

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Chris / February 23, 2009 9:39 AM

There ARE still tickets! I just bought two in the Lower Balcony on the website. Can't wait! Thanks for the post.

TRoyal / February 23, 2009 12:22 PM

Excellent! Won't be the first time my "sources" are wrong. :)

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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