Debbie Kruger
Jetsetter USA HAWAII 2008 Chicago on Maui
In 41 years of touring, Chicago had never played a concert on the island of Maui until April 25, 2008. It was a great coincidence that I was holidaying on Maui at that very time! Even more joyful, my great friend Henry Diltz had flown in from LA to spend a few days with me on Maui, and Henry, like me, knows the Chicago guys well. Much fun was had by all! The concert photos here were taken by me, not Henry, who is the master of such things.

Before the show we paid a visit backstage and found Keith Howland tuning up his guitar. "Hey, what are you doing here?" he asked. "Oh, you know, just passing, thought I'd drop in," I replied.
My last encounter with the band had been in Auckland four years ago, at Robert Lamm's solo show, photos of which can be seen here.
And speaking of Robert, it was lovely to spend some time catching up with him before the show, too, and admiring his whites. That's the shirt and pants, not the pearlies, although his smile was very nice, too. "I've been getting my picture taken with you for nearly 30 years now," I told him. To see the first time, click here.
We left the guys to finish getting ready for the show, and went outside to get some food. The Maui Arts & Cultural Center definitely knows how to provide excellent pre-show food and drink! We ate some totally yummy fish and salad.
The concert was on a low, small-ish stage in an open-air amphitheater under clear balmy tropical moonlight. The setlist in 2008 was the best I had heard in many years, with the band delving deep into their catalogue, even beginning with "Introduction" – albeit abridged. Enjoy my concert photos, and after that see more backstage action.

Backstage again after the wonderful concert, Henry and I had the band to ourselves in the quietest backstage scene I'd ever encountered. Robert, Keith and Jason kept us very entertained in the green room, which had no green in it, except for the celery sticks and parsley garnish. And the green m&ms.

From the photos below, it appears I was keeping them entertained, too. Or edified, perhaps.

Henry was certainly doing a good job of being entertaining. He had enjoyed the show so much he was re-living it for the guys, just in case they'd missed it.

Jimmy Pankow emerged from the dressing room. "Hey, Debbie Kruger! Robert told me you were here," he said, and then proceeded to compliment me about the interview I had done with him and Robert nine years ago. Very nice to still be appreciated for that. If you haven't read it, that interview is here.

Jimmy is still the most energetic performer in the band. The way he swings that trombone... it's something to behold.

Lee Loughnane is always cheerful. He'd been though some heavy stuff last year with his wife surviving a sudden, lethal illness. I told him what I'd been through, losing my mother and my dog. We shared thoughts on life. We laughed together. Lee is good tonic. Just delightful to catch up with him again.
Jason Scheff's dramatic weight loss had me impressed and intrigued. He told me to check out his website to find out all about it. I went there and didn't find it easy to understand what his Scheffy Challenge actually is, but he sure is excited about it. And whatever it is, it's working.
It was a great treat to see my favourite band after a four-year gap, and only a month after seeing my other favourite band, the Eagles, in London.

So as the load-out went on around us, a few final words with Keith, and then Henry and I drove off into the late Maui night, full of great music and great conversation.

Click here to go back to my Hawaii 2008 page.

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