OK, here's what they did in Chicago more or less (although probably not in this order)
Peace of Mind, Lazlo, BJ, Horseshoes, Boss, Kick in the Ass, Sahara, Roadrunner, If You Could Read My Mind, Fly, Militia, Greatest Man in America, Johnny Saucep'n, Raja, Incredible Medicine Show, Spain, GE&H, Authors, River Valley
Encores: Get in the Car, Right Wing Shit, Billy Jian Medley, Drinking Song
The band was sounding solid and in tune in spite of all the health problems. (and the new sound guy is doing a great job) The new material is really great live - generally pretty close to the album versions, with the exception of Sahara. Live, they're using the drums instead of the doumbek, and there's a heaver groove, as well as a section where Mike reads from a book (I'm sure that will be a thread at some point...what's that book in Sahara...). GE&H is also a bit beefier, with Murray playing bass and Jian playing some drums at the end. Oh, and just for the record, Mike's keyboard is not a moog.
Unfortunately, the crowd was fairly dead, and the band seemed a little tired. I also was a bit disappointed that their set list was so close to the one in champaign (almost identical, really) and that the show was on the short side. But anyway, back to the good parts...
Highlights included impromptu songs about Dave's hair and about Famous Canadians, as well as a fair amount of schtick inspired by the stuffed animals Angel gave the band (by the way, I finally got to meet her). At the beginning of Fly, Jian picked his up and sang to it. After trying two or three times to start the song again with a straight face, they gave up and decided to do something to get the giggles out of their system. So at Dave's suggestion, we were treated to a very cool a cappella version of the Roadrunner theme. Of course, after this, the guys were even more hyper and silly, so for something medium silly, Murray started up If You Could Read My Mind (with Mike picking up the lead).
Also, during the "Not the Beatles!" bit in GE&H, Mike used his stuffed animal as a puppet and channeled the ghost of John Lennon...really hilarious.
The show was over fairly early (started pretty early too...some people I knew missed the first couple songs), so it was a nice change of pace to not be shoved out the door immediately at the end of the concert.
Well, this was the second show I ever saw, and unfortunately for me, the last for a while, since I'm stuck out here in California where the boys never seem to visit. 8^( Poor, pitiful me.
Anyway, Michael Connelly's review of the concert mentions a book that Mike was reading from. I was about three feet from the stage, and that book was one of the nine cantos of Dante's Inferno. Looked like the third canto, but my eyes are terrible, and he just wouldn't stand still long enough for me to see.
That show, imo, was pure energy. Even the slower songs, and there were
really only the two, Fly and the Drinking Song, rocked.
Some other tidbits from the performance include: