If you leave Judge Patrick Naugle now, you'll take away the biggest part of him.
Sweet Home Cetera.
A few years back, there was a pretty funny television commercial for Heineken beer. At an assisted living home, a young worker asked an elderly resident why he was a fan of Peter Cetera. The elderly gentleman noted that ladies like him "and if you like the ladies, then by default, you like Cetera." A bigger truth has never been spoken.
Cetera's tenor voice burst on the scene with the Chicago Transit Authority (soon to be shortened to just Chicago), and the band's fusion of pop, rock, and jazz wound up being a major influence on the music scene in the late 1960s and 1970s. The band's popularity waned for a time, only to find resurgence in the 1980s under producer David Foster (who helmed the band's hit album "Chicago 16") and a cavalcade of sappy, romantic ballads and breakup singles ("You're the Inspiration," "Hard to Say I'm Sorry"). In the mid-1980s, Cetera left Chicago (err, the band, not the city) to record his own material. Although his success as a solo artist never eclipsed his tenure with Chicago, Cetera still managed to create some quality music, including songs from movies (The Karate Kid Part II's "Glory of Love") and Top 40 singles (1992's "Restless Heart"). Cetera continues to tour and record, affording fans a chance to see him in his natural element on stage. Finally, one of his concerts recorded for Chicago (the town's) public television station WTTW's Soundstage has been given a high-definition upgrade as Peter Cetera: Live in Concert (Blu-ray).
It may be tough to find someone who actively hates Peter Cetera. While the velvet voiced singer may not be hip or cool by today's standards, there's still something warm about his music that gets you in the mood for either heartbreak or romance. Like myself, I'm sure a lot of fans are fueled by nostalgia. I can remember long summer nights when Cetera's music—be it solo efforts or his work with Chicago—wafted through the air on the radio or cassette players.
This 2003 concert is a good representation of Cetera's catalog, even if the singer himself sometimes has trouble hitting the high notes of his youth. Most of his hits are featured here, and they all sound as deliriously sappy as they did the first time I heard them. "The Next Time (I Fall in Love)" is still one of the most achingly sad breakup songs ever recorded, and both Cetera and special guest Amy Grant sing it with emotional aplomb. While some of the Chicago songs lack the great band that gave them life, it's still nice to see Cetera cart them out (to the audience's massive approval). The tracks casual fans may not recognize—including "One Good Woman"—fit in well with the rest of the set. Amy Grant opens the show with a few of her hits ("Simple Things," "Baby Baby") and nicely sets the tone for the rest of the show.
The set list…
• "Baby, Baby" (Amy Grant)
Presented in 1.78:1/1080i high definition widescreen, the transfer is sharp and clear, looking uniformly excellent without any major defects or imperfections. While the concert itself doesn't feature any flashy visuals (just some nice lighting cues), this concert looks great on any television set. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix (as well as its two stereo mixes—LPCM 2.0 and 2.0 DTS-HD) sounds excellent. Most fans will think the music is far more important than the visuals, and they won't be disappointed; this is a very rich, textured mix that supports Cetera's smooth vocal styling well. The guitars, drums and synth keyboards are all well placed and practically pour out of the side, front and rear speakers. No alternate subtitles are included on this release. On par with most other Image concert releases, there are no bonus features.
For those who have been looking forward to hearing Cetera's biggest hits on Blu-ray, Peter Cetera: Live in Concert may fit the bill until a more comprehensive Chicago concert disc is released.
Determined to thrill fans of the '70s and '80s legend, with a little romance in their hearts.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
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