Chi-Town Transit Authority brings Chicago to the Ritz Theatre

Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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The Chi-Town Transit Authority, an eight-piece Chicago Tribute band based out of Atlanta, rocked the Ritz Theatre on Feb. 22, delivering an unforgettable performance that transported the audience through four decades of Chicago’s greatest hits.

Established in 2017, Chi-Town Transit Authority is dedicated to reproducing the authentic “Chicago” concert experience. With a tight horn and woodwinds section, the band’s multiple vocalists provide dynamic harmonies and stage presence, reminiscent of Chicago’s signature sound.

“We’ve been playing together for seven years and playing on stage for six of those,” said Chris Horton, the band’s trumpet player and an Atlanta attorney. “We’ve played everywhere, Washington, New York, Connecticut. We have long days, but everything I’m doing is something I want to do. I’m very fortunate that I get to do something I love all the time.”

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Michael Cahen, guitarist and vocalist with the band for six years, emphasized the band’s commitment to authenticity.

“Chicago is a little different from other bands. With three lead singers and the three horn players up front. The way the horns are put together is unique,” Cahen said. “Nobody else does that. We try to do our tribute to Chicago in the way that Chicago does it.”

Chayse Pannell, another vocalist, expressed his lifelong love for singing and highlighted Chicago’s ability to evolve with the times.

“One of the best things about Chicago is that they’ve changed with the era. The 60s sound like the 60s but in the 70s and 80s they changed their sound. They’ve really kept up to date.”

The band’s performance at the Ritz Theatre was part of a successful season for the Greenville Area Arts Council, according to Director Nancy Idland.

“We’re just so proud of our community for supporting us for another beautiful year,” Idland said. “This has been one of the most successful seasons we’ve had and we’re looking forward to season 42 kicking off in October.”

Brenda Thompson Fahey, a season ticket holder, was thrilled with the performance and hopes next season will include similar performances .

“We want more shows like this, more for the baby boomers,” Fahey said. “This is wonderful and they look like they’re having such a good time.”

Reflecting on their performance at the Ritz Theatre and their short stay in Greenville, Pannell says the group was honored to grace a stage with so much history. 

“This is a beautiful town, it reminds me of where I grew up. The theatre is unbelievable,” Pannell said. “Hank Williams played here. It’s really cool. We’ve played a lot of places where legends have played, so we’re really excited when we hear cool history about places.”

Chi-Town Transit Authority’s electrifying performance at the Ritz Theatre was a testament to their dedication to providing an authentic Chicago concert experience, leaving the audience calling for more.