Music has been such an integral part of my life that I can still clearly remember the first three albums I ever bought with my own money. Big deal you say? Well, that was over 30 years ago, and I was only about twelve years old at the time. Steve Miller Band's Book Of Dreams was the third album, and it took a few week's worth of my hard earned allowance to get it. It was also quite a departure from my first two albums, Aerosmith's self-titled debut, and Black Sabbath's Technical Ecstasy.
Book Of Dreams was released in 1977, and it followed the equally successful Fly Like An Eagle, which was released the previous year. These two multi-platinum selling albums launched the Steve Miller Band to superstardom in the mid-70s, behind a string of hit singles that are all performed on this DVD. Miller's 1978 release, Greatest Hits 1974-1978, featured all of the best tracks from those two albums, along with the "The Joker" from the 1973 album of the same name. That album went on to sell over six million copies and firmly cemented Miller's position on every rock radio play list to this day.
Live From Chicago was recorded on July 13th and 14th, 2007 during the Steve Miller Band's two night run at the Ravinia Amphitheater, in Highland Park, Illinois, which is just north of Chicago. Steve Miller's recording career spans four decades now, going all the way back to his 1968 debut album, Children Of The Future, but don't expect to hear too many songs from that period on this DVD - or anything remotely new, for that matter.
For the most part, Miller sticks with his familiar mid-70's hits, the Greatest Hits 1974-1978 album was played in its entirety, but he also throws in a few songs from the surrounding years. I can't really blame Miller for playing this type of set list for the taping of his first ever concert DVD, and I'm sure that was what most of the fans came to hear. But I am disappointed when such an established artist as Miller ignores their less popular early period. He also didn't play anything from any of his post-Abracabra albums. I would have preferred that over the three cover songs he did.
Miller kicks off the show with "Fly Like An Eagle," and believe me it was not the same "Fly Like An Eagle" that all of those forty-something year old soccer moms in the crowd used to dance to back in grade school. Miller turns this one into a 15-minute, extended, blues jam that gets briefly interrupted by a ridiculous rap section by Miller's keyboardist, stuck smack-dab in the middle of the song. That was definitely one of the more out of place things I have seen at a rock concert lately.