Walking downtown this past Saturday, the sight you would have seen would have the average person thinking there was a red carpet event happening at the Chicago Theatre. In a way, it was indeed a not-to-be-missed event. Chicagoans dressed to the nines, ladies defining the meaning of what it means to step out and showcase class and style, gentlemen wearing an array of summer flare Borsalino and Stetson hats all made their way downtown to see the one and only legendary Gladys Knight.
Before she even took the stage, fans of all age groups began chanting “We Want Gladys”, if that was any indication, the people of Chi-Town was ready to take a trip down memory lane. Gladys definitely knows her fans, as old school tunes from the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, Four Tops, Bobby Brown and more blared through the speakers to keep the crowd energetic before her arrival.
As Gladys took the stage at around 9:03 p.m., she was met with a standing and roaring ovation that literally shook seats. The styling & profiling and ever so humble and loving Gladys Knight made her entrance. The iconic songstress waved and thanked everyone as she went straight into her first song “I’ve Got to Use My Imagination”.
Throughout the night, Gladys belted out her many classics, the “Nitty Gritty” singer would take the time to tell stories from her long career and also engage in conversation and laughter with the audience. The one hour set didn’t only consist of Gladys classics – no Gladys would also perform covers of songs that she said she loved, such as Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”.
Gladys Knight’s music is timeless – Looking around the Chicago Theatre, you could just tell by the looks on everyone’s faces that many were connected and reliving through many songs as if it took them back to a time in their lives where they discovered Gladys and embraced her.
Gladys was on fire the entire night, singing and dancing, delivering a top notch performance – Her stage presence, combined with her genuine and kind persona welcomed in a mellow vibe within the theatre. The live band was on point all night, hitting every cord, key, and drum kick in succession. The night also included Gladys giving her background singers some shine on multiple occasions.
After a performance of the audience favorite “Neither One of Us”, Gladys asked the crowd would they be her “Pips for the night” as she closed with yet another hit “Midnight Train to Georgia”.
My mom, who was in attendance and is also a day one original genuine devoted Gladys Knight fan stated “She sounds just as she did on the records, what a performance”. She continued, “You have to have a kind heart to reach people, she’s [Gladys Knight] centered and understanding of her fans and the people around her – with this she touches a lot of people that show their love & appreciation for her”.
The Chicago crowd showed nothing but respect for the legend all night.
Gladys Knight is currently on tour and I would highly suggest getting out to see her when she rolls through your town. For more info on tour dates, visit gladysknight.com.
Check out photos from the magical night below
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