Despite severe storm conditions, Ravinia Festival presented "An Evening with Pat Metheny". Weather didn't dampen the fans' enthusiasm for a night of initmate jazz.
At 61, Metheny shows no signs of waning. His is still at his peek performance, playing with the same enthusiasm that has made him among the most celebrated and distinctive jazz guitarists in the field.
Metheny opened the concert -- entering the stage solo -- playing his Pikasso guitar, a stringed instrument that was built at his request. A curious piece of equipment, with dozens of strings bridging across the guitar body in every direction, in Metheny's hands it was used to demonstrate complexities in playing that included harp sounds, rhythmic thumping and, of course, melodies on the six string neck.
His accompanists included the esteemed percussionist, and 'Birdman' composer, Antonio Sanchez (drums), Linda May Han Oh (bass) and Gwilym Simcock (piano) -- joined in for a full concert set, diving into songs which span his career. Highlights included endearing and familiar songs like "This is Not America", "Last Train Home" and "Phase Dance".
Metheny has forged his own signature jazz fusion sound since the beginning of his four decade-plus recording career. Yet, within that unmistakable tone, he explores and travels with an incredible command for melody and mood.
His accomplishments are staggering. To date he has sold over 20 million albums, won 20 Grammy awards and was honored as the youngest recipient of Downbeat's Jazz Hall of Fame. With a modest and approachable personality, it is no wonder he projects that mastery and greatness in venues like Ravinia.
This evening was a treasured event for all in attendance.
Setlist Pat Metheny live at Ravinia June 14, 2017
1: Pikasso Instrumental Guitar Introduction: Into the Dream
2: Have You Heard
3: Always and Forever
5: Better Days Ahead
7: The Red One
8: Tell Her You Saw Me
9: Phase Dance
10: Question and Answer
11: Acoustic Solo Medley:
Set. 15th, This Is Not America, Last Train Home
12: Song for Bilbao
13: And I Love Her
14: Are You Going With Me?