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JULY 21, 2006
Chicago's Best Venue: Charter One Pavilion

Charterone Where planes used to land now sits one of the best music venues I've ever attended. Charter One Pavilion was constructed for the 2005 summer season and has continued through to this year.

The venue sits on the 91-acre Northerly Island, former home of Meigs Field, Chicago's in-city airport that was demolished some years ago. The area was enclosed as parkland to create the city's Museum Campus, which includes the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Soldier Field, Burnham Harbor and now Charter One Pavilion.

So, why does Charter One rock? For one, it's entirely outdoors and sits right on Lake Michigan. Two, when  you're jamming out to whatever band, you have an incredible view: Chicago's skyline rising up in the background. Need another reason? It has the most laid-back security. You're allowed to "sign out" for 15 minutes and leave the venue to do whatever -- most people head behind the venue to hang out on the beach on Lake Michigan.

Last night, Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon from Phish played together with the Benevento/Russo Duo. I'd do a proper review but, really, this post is about Charter One. They just happened to be there.

Overall, it was a great night of music. The guys were as tight as ever and I heard a few people rumbling that Phish might actually get back together for some shows this fall. Then again, that could just be wishful thinking. Although, apparently on this tour, Page McConnell, Phish's keyboardist, has joined them for a few shows.

I think my favorite part of the night was walking down to the beach through the sand, seeing light waves lap on the shore and hearing fantastic music flow out of the venue.

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