I was blessed to be able to take a short trip to Chicago about a month ago. I've wanted to visit Chicago for a while, especially to visit Harvest Bible Chapel. I've always admired that church and the impact they have had both in Chicago and worldwide through the worship of Vertical Church Band. I have been a member of VCB's Insiders club for a little while, and they gave their members an opportunity to join them in Chicago for the live recording of their new album "Frontiers". This was an incredible opportunity to see all the members of Vertical Church Band and to be a part of the recording of their new album! You can see some of my favorite photos of the trip throughout this post.
I spent 4 days in Chicago and man it was cold! I did not think it could get that much colder compared to Massachusetts but I guess I was wrong. The first stop I made was to get some deep dish pizza from the famous Giordano's, and it was delicious! Later that night I got to be a part of the first of 2 days of "Frontiers". The worship was top notch. The new songs on this album are truly anointed and I can't wait for everyone to hear them. This album ranges from the soft acoustic feel of "Always Have" sung by Jon Guerra to the powerful upbeat tune of "A Thousand Tongues". I have never experienced such an incredible worship experience, and it is something that I will carry with me for a very long time. This worship experience was also very different. Typically there are smooth transitions and little behind the scenes looks, but this time there were rarely any transitions and a lot of behind the scenes, because it was for a live recording. After every song, different musicians and vocalists would come on and off the stage, pedalboards were moved, and vocalists would just talk with the audience while we waited for next song. It felt different for sure, but when the next song started you were wrapped in the worship of everyone in that room, and you couldn't help but join in.
The second day in Chicago I made sure that my first stop was the famous Chicago Music Exchange. I am very glad I don't live in Chicago because I would spend way too much money there! That is the largest collection of guitars I have ever seen and high quality guitars too. I got to play guitars by Dusenberg, Collings, Bilt, Suhr, Palir, Reverend, etc. I actually ended up purchasing an 1965 Epiphone Coronet from there when I got home. The real nice thing about that place is they have 4 isolation rooms right in the middle of the store. Most stores you can't turn up the amps past 2 before disturbing the employee on the phone, but here you could crank up an amp to 11 and really get to here everything you want in the amp. They had some great amps in the isolation rooms too, from 65 Amps, Jackson Ampworks, Suhr, Vox, Orange, Victoria, and more. I was happy to be here because I was able to try all the guitars I ever wanted to. Now in the future I know that I am not a fan of a Palir telecaster compared to my Suhr, that Reverend is the best guitar around $1k, and that Collings makes some beautiful acoustic guitars. I got it all out of my system, and I feel even better about the great guitars I have in my arsenal already.
My third day there I got to spend walking around downtown Chicago. Side note if you are going to do that, don't do it in vans and the tightest jeans you own, you will regret it. There were some great sites such as the Willis Tower, Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, and the Magnificent Mile. Overall I found that Chicago is very much like a Boston 2.0. It had a lot of that same charm that made me feel at home. I would love to go back when it is ..... a LOT warmer.