LaBelle | Chicago Theatre | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

LaBelle Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., Jan. 10, 8 p.m. 2009

It’s been 32 years since LABELLE was a fully operational group turning out high-glitter, headboard-knocking outer-space feminist funk rock. The trio exited the scene shortly after reaching their disco apex with “Lady Marmalade,” a number one hit from their fourth album, the ladies-first classic Nightbirds. After the split songwriter Nona Hendryx freaked out, sang backup for Talking Heads, and put out a couple R & B/avant-rock albums; Sarah Dash scored a hit with “Sinner Man”; and Patti LaBelle became Patti LaBelle. They’ve staged a few one-off reunions over the years, but this is their first proper reunion tour, supporting the new Back to Now (Verve). The hot mess of Auto-Tune on the Wyclef-produced single “Rollout” is the album’s main concession to contemporary tastes; the rest is better than you’d expect. Lead producer Lenny Kravitz is a rather mild substitute for Allen Toussaint, but the ladies, who are all in their 60s, are still working hard with what they’ve got. -Jessica Hopper

Price: $49.50-$89

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