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Chicago has seen some changes since its debut as a rock band with horns in 1967.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the band’s keyboardist Robert Lamm.

He’ll be there again when the band performs at the Palace Theater on Tuesday.

Lamm, 77, is responsible for writing many of the band’s hits, including “25 or 6 to 4” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? “

He spent much of his time during the pandemic writing songs for a new, as yet untitled Chicago album, due for release in early 2022. This is the first of two new albums on offer, and the first of the band since “Chicago Christmas” in 2019.

Writing during the pandemic

“My experience with the pandemic is that I actually allowed myself, pretty much every day, to work on songs,” said Lamm, speaking by phone from Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was appearing on the tour. current group.

Robert Lamm, who was a founding member of rock group Chicago in 1967, says he enjoyed returning to audiences after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since the early 1970s, we have been on the road. Finally, I didn’t even have a piano at home. I just didn’t have time for that, “he said.” But this year I allowed myself to think about what I really wanted to say, lyrically. And I allowed myself to reach out to the people I wanted to work with. I’m not really worried: “Is it going to be on the radio, is it a Brazilian vibe or a jazzy vibe or a romantic vibe?” None of that.”

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He wasn’t the only one in the group to work.

“The new guys in the band, who’ve only been with us for a decade or two or three (he laughs), this project also allowed them to be creative and contribute songs,” Lamm said.

New album will bring new direction

The new album will take the band in a new direction – something that has happened more than once before.

“Chicago has never been your average pop or rock music. It’s everywhere stylistically. I think that’s why it took us so long to get into the Rock Hall of Fame, ”he said.

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Chicago was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016, and Lamm into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017.

Lamm had a few revelations while he was away from tour.

“One was that I didn’t know what the house was. It’s the longest I’ve been home in my life, and I’m an old man. I didn’t know I would like it so much. I want to do it more. And the second was that I married the right woman. My wife is a wonderful and lovely person, ”he said.

Lamm has been married to his fourth wife, Joy Kopko, since 1991.

Glad to be on tour again

The group has now been back on the road since June.

“We’ve played about 50 gigs so far, and we have about 50 more left,” Lamm said. “It was fun rediscovering the thrill of performing, for an audience that might be fans, or that might be curious or just looking for something to do.”

The concert travels chronologically through Chicago’s long career.

“We start with the material from the very first album, which remains popular. Even though most of our audiences these days are younger than us, in one way or another they have absorbed our music, whether through classical radio or by listening to their parents’ record collections. Lamm said.

“There are acoustic elements, there are really hard rock parts, and the show has a beginning, a middle and an end. And it seems to be working. The audience is standing and applauding. And that makes us feel good. “

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In one look

Chicago will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Palace Theater, 34 W. Broad St. Masks, as well as a negative COVID vaccination or test, are required. Tickets cost $ 52.50 to $ 198.50 (614-469-0939, capa.com)

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