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Jeff Vorva's Im-PRESS-ions: Not sure was to think of 30 songs in 30 minutes

  • Written by Jeff Vorva

Jeffs Col Impressions

The Band 7th Heaven has been around 30 years, rocking fans from all over the Chicago area.

In their 30th year, the fellas have on their schedule everything from the lighting of Buckingham Fountain in Chicago to Cheese-A-Palooza in Kenosha.

I caught their act at Taste of Orland for the first time on Aug. 1 and during their first set, they played 30 songs in 30 minutes. In recent years, it’s one of the tricks they have been known for.

There were snippets of tunes by Billy Idol, Elton John, Pink Floyd, A-Ha, Hall and Oates, Tom Petty, John Mellancamp, Rush and many others. They closed it with a couple of Queen songs.

I liked it and hated it at the same time.

I liked it because the set flew by – it didn’t even feel like a half an hour. With the exception of the Rush song “Spirit of the Radio” morphing into an Eagles tune, the transitions of songs flowed nicely.

I liked it because if there was a song or two in the bunch I didn’t like, I didn’t have to listen to the whole tune and the next thing you know, another song is up.

Then I realized I hated liking it.

The old geezer in me thinks that this is a tool to placate the younger generation which has a pretty short attention span.

It was almost like allowing my kids the control of radio or iPods in the car – song change after song change after song change…

My daughter Lauren will usually latch onto a song, sing with it for about a minute and then move on. I am not sure these kids ever listened to a full song unless it was at a concert.

Not that I long for the days of Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick” (which is one drum solo that occasionally took up to almost 30 minutes when played live) but I hope in the future that 30 songs in 30 minutes will continue to be a novelty and not the norm.

SUBHEAD – Lolla-Paul-Looza

Well, Paul McCartney played Lollapalooza on July 31 and didn’t take much of my input from my column in early April, suggesting his setlist.

I thought he should be as cutting edge as possible since this was supposed to be a cutting edge festival.

My set list was “Revolution,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” “Another Day,” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” “Helter Skelter,” “I’m Down,” “Ballroom Dancing,” “Transpiritual Stomp.” “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “Rock Show,’’ “Live and Let Die, “Hi, Hi, Hi” and “I Saw Her Standing There” with an encore of “Hey Jude.’’

But nooooooo…

He waited until his 21st song into the night to take one of my suggestions when he played “Back in the U.S.S.R.” He closed the regular part of the show with “Hey Jude,’’ opened the encore with “Hi, Hi, Hi” and also had “Helter Skelter” in the encore.

He had some good songs in his 31-song set (why didn’t I think of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”?) but played it pretty safe with hits such as “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Got to Get You into My Life,” “Blackbird,” “Lady Madonna,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Something” and others.

Maybe next time he comes to an edgy fest, he should play more daring music and pick 30 of his hit songs and play them in 30 minutes.