Daily South Town

A Chicago Newspaper July 18th, 1999

Special Thanks to Ted!

Photograph Smile

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Lennon shows he can ride his own wave

By Eloise Marie Valadez Staff Writer

The Lennon music legacy was reincarnated in Chicago on Thursday night, but this time in a slightly different way. It was a carefree, uninhibited Julian Lennon who stepped onto the stage at the Park West to start his first concert tour in almost a decade. And judging by the cheers from the crowd, it's been much too long.

The intimate atmosphere of the Park West and Lennon's relaxed, almost playful stage persona proved good partners.

The singer/songwriter, son of the late Beatle John Lennon, kicked off his U.S. tour with this Chicago show.

Concert Review 

And despite a few botched lyrics, to which he jokingly admitted, and scratchy acoustics at the beginning of the show, he was off to a good start.

Lennon performed a nearly two-hour show heavy on material from his latest release, "Photograph Smile."

He opened with the upbeat "Get a Life" from his album "Help Yourself" and launched into newer tunes "And She Cries" and "Day After Day," the latest hit.

Whether Lennon is really comfortable with it or not, the comparisons to his late father (in looks and sound) and the Beatles surely will always be made. But the son is proving that he can ride his own wave as a singer/songwriter.

During this show, Lennon seemed to embrace the legacy something that has taken a bit of time and soul searching for him to do. Some of the material from "Photograph Smile," he said, was a conscious nod to the style of John and the Fab Four.

Hints of Beatlesque sounds were definitely in the air, particularly with "I Don't Want to Know," the love song "I Should Have Known" and "Photograph Smile."

Lennon showcased a camaraderie with his audience, as he talked to the crowd throughout the evening. He spoke about the songs and even joked, hinting at but not delving deep into the bad karma between himself and Yoko Ono and others.

"It's time to move on," he simply said.

Particularly strong moments during the show included Lennon's performance of the Middle Eastern-inspired "Crucified," a song dedicated to a late friend and writing partner, and a grittier new arrangement of the hit "Much Too Late for Goodbyes."

Lennon closed his show with a touching rendition of the 1950s classic "Stand by Me," which John also recorded, and remains a staple on Julian's concert playlist

1999 Daily South Town