2007-10-19 Annie Lennox - Annie Lennox Sings - Cadillac Palace - Chicago - The USA


Artist : Annie Lennox

Date : 2007-10-19

Tour Name : Annie Lennox Sings

Country : The USA

Town : Chicago

Venue : Cadillac Palace






Chicago TribuneAnnie Lennox amps up the soul in career-spanning show
Annie Lennox isn’t only about music anymore. The Scottish singer has sold 78 million records in 25 years, but she’s also a mother and a globetrotting activist. She has a life, in other words.

Now when she does focus on the craft that made her famous, she doesn’t waste time on the theatricality that was crucial to developing her image as an MTV icon. The songs are her sole focus, and she knows what to do with them.

A rare tour brought her Friday to the sold-out Cadillac Palace Theater, and she sang like her house was on fire. Lennox once had a cool Euro-chic image with Eurythmics, but it’s her affinity for American soul music that has given her staying power. She’s not just a strong singer, she can be a downright inspiring one.

This was, above all, a show about call and response, the bedrock of classic soul – the interaction between singer and band, and the singer and her audience.

“I love the energy you’re giving me,” she said. With Lennox sightings becoming increasingly rare, the fans’ enthusiasm was rewarded with a crisply paced, 80-minute set free of costume changes, over-the-top staging or diva-like primping. She was a woman dressed for business; a striking figure in black, with close-cropped blond hair. The only Marie Antoinette wigs to be seen were on the screen behind the stage, which projected videos from her ‘80s pop-queen phase.

Not that there wasn’t some showmanship involved, as she tapped her inner Judy Garland for some extravagant hand gestures. But Lennox didn’t just twirl her wrists and project her voice for effect. She fed off her five-piece band and two backing singers, the push-and-pull plunging her deeper into songs about heartache, heartbreak and survival.

Her music took on a political dimension in “Sing,” which addressed the African AIDS crisis. And “Sister’s are Doin’ it for Themselves,” performed solo at a piano, rocked the sisterhood with a groove that tapped the roaring Les McCann-Eddie Harris version of “Compared to What?”

Mostly, Lennox sang about riding out tough times. She’s been through a series of long but ultimately doomed relationships, and her songs tend to view love through a bleak lens. “Every one of us was made to suffer, every one of us was made to weep,” she sang.

But this was no pity party. Like the best gospel and soul music, it burrowed through pain in search of meaning, and transcendence. The cascading vocals of “Thorn in My Side,” the disco pulse of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” and the Creole-streaked rhythm of “Ghost in my Machine” were positively celebratory.

Lennox’s multi-octave alto remains a formidable instrument, as evidenced early in the set when she leaped into the upper register of her range during “Broken Glass.” Parse Lennox’s lyrics, and not all of them withstand intense scrutiny. But that’s missing the point.

With Lennox, the poetry’s not always on the page. It’s in her conviction.


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