Thursday night’s Chicago Live! audience seemed skewed toward the under-30 age group. They arrived early. They stood and waited in the heat. And, in honor of guest Billy Corgan, they wore a lot of Smashing Pumpkins T-shirts.
The sold-out crowd saw Chicago Fire team captain Logan Pause (David Haugh interview), Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould Kern discuss the paper's recent redesign (Rick Kogan interview), a preview of the Newberry Library's Bughouse Square soap box debates, comedy from The Second City, the Chicago Live! Almanac and Corgan, who performed a solo, acoustic song and talked frankly with Tribune rock critic Greg Kot on the topic of alternative music and selling out. (Corgan is against the idea.)
Fans whipped out their smart phones to capture the interview and musical performance. After the show, Corgan took photos with fans and at least one fellow guest –- Chicago peace activist Stephanie Weiner.
Two women said they drove down from Milwaukee to see Corgan, and drove back to Milwaukee after the show. Another had come from Phoenix, still another had driven up from Lexington, Ky. Three boys who were high school juniors from Crystal Lake weren’t sure they’d make it in time with all the traffic on their long drive into the city, and wondered if they’d be allowed to stick around after the show and actually visit with guests (yes). Four women who were fans of Rick Kogan’s Sunday morning radio program on WGN Radio -– The Sunday Papers -– heard Billy Corgan for the first time.
Several said they'd be coming back, and you can, too. Here's a link to information about and tickets to the show, which records each Thursday evening through Aug. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the Chicago Theatre Downstairs, 175 N. State St.
-- Sheila SolomonCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times