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Cross this off my bucket list: I’ve loved Peter Cetera for as long as I can remember.

Like many children of the 80s, I still harbor a strong sentimental attachment to some of the tunes that might make others groan. Before I was old enough to start developing musical tastes of my own, my mom raised me on a steady diet of light rock, less talk. (No, you just sang the KOIT jingle in your head!) I think my personal trifecta from those days is (in no particular order): Billy Joel, Lionel Richie (with The Commodores and solo), and Peter Cetera (with Chicago but especially solo). At least for me, there is something about the music I loved as a kid that can have the power to invoke a true sense of joy that can be hard to find anywhere else.

Last month, my mom won a pair of tickets to see REO Speedwagon and Chicago, and she asked me to go with her. I thought it would be a blast, but I admit I was disappointed at the prospect of seeing Chicago sans Cetera. Between sets, I decided I should look to see if he was touring on his own. Much to my delight, not only was he currently touring, but I found tickets that were a mere two weeks away, in San Jose. Before I could buy them, though, Chicago took the stage, and I put my phone away to enjoy what turned out to be a truly fantastic performance.

The next day, I returned to my ticketing site of choice to buy tickets, and discovered I’d overlooked a second date the night before: this one was a month away, rather than two weeks, and I’d have to schlep out to the Sacramento area in the dead of the summer, but instead of just being Cetera solo, it also boasted Richard Marx on the bill. Though this is an artist my mother enjoys as much as I do, he wasn’t an heirloom: Richard Marx is an artist I learned to love all on my own, from the late 80s on. I bought tickets in a matter of moments and then started counting down the days until I could get myself out to Thunder Valley Casino on Friday the 13th (of July). (more…)