The Ides of March
A smaller but certainly enthusiastic crowd gathered to enjoy the music of rock legends Ides Of March. Band front man Jim Peterik has been in the rock and roll business for almost 50 years at this point (having started with the Ides Of March in 1964). He has enjoyed a long and lucrative song career, writing songs for the likes of Sammy Hagar, 38 Special and Survivor to name a few.
The concert was a celebration of his influence on the rock world, while offering a special focus on the hits from Ides Of March. What is truly remarkable is the fact that Peterik still has his other three original band mates from 1964 onstage with him (Larry Millas on guitar, Bob Bergland on bass and Mike Borch on drums).
In this day and age of nostalgic musical acts who take the stage and may have only one original member left, the Ides Of March remain a musical force to behold, with every bit as much of their energy, excitement and enthusiasm of their younger days.
The concert started with a positive message in the song "Live Life," which is one of Peterik’s latest songs. The man has lost absolutely nothing vocally, which was evident as he continued to perform his vast catalogue of hits, including Survivor’s "High On You," Sammy Hagar’s "Heavy Metal" (from the soundtrack of the same name) and 38 Special’s "Caught Up In You" and "Hold On Loosely."
Between songs, the band invited all of us in with the interesting stories that accompanied many of the songs. I especially enjoyed it when bassist Bob Bergland talked about their early days in Chicago and when their AM radio hit "You Wouldn’t Listen" found its way to number seven on the WLS charts in 1966. Being a Chicagoan myself, it was almost as if I visited the ’Windy City’ for an evening with the band being from Berwyn as well as the vast majority of the audience also being from that great city.
They made us wait for it, but the band did play their signature song "Vehicle," which was a number one for them back in 1970, as their second-to-last song. It sounded exactly like the iconic recording and the audience was in a state of bliss.
For their encore, the band offered the most epic version of Survivor’s "Eye Of The Tiger" that I have ever heard, with the undeniably Ides Of March horn section at full blast. Peterik took some time with his wireless guitar to rock out in the audience during the song as well, which was a great touch. With hits spanning almost five decades, there was truly something for everyone at this show.
I had the pleasure of meeting the band before the show as well. They mentioned that they still do 45-50 shows a year, playing charity events, festivals and smaller casino venues. While I wished that I had asked them better questions, I just had to ask if they have ever grown tired of playing "Vehicle." The answer was an emphatic ’no.’
Simply put, the band still loves their songs and enjoys playing for the fans after all these years. This was by far the most fun I have had at a concert in a long time. It was a great band playing at a fantastic venue. If the Ides Of March are playing anywhere near where you live, make a point of seeing them. You will not be disappointed.
Ides Of March played on Mar. 23 at The Access Showroom of the Aliante Casino and Resort, 7300 Aliante Parkway, North Las Vegas, Nevada. For information on shows at Aliante, call 702-692-7777 or visit www.aliantegaming.com. For information on upcoming shows for Ides Of March, visit their website www.theidesofmarch.com.