Just Steve and the Piano, Rich Paschall

Perhaps if you are lucky, you get to meet one of the celebrities you write about. Maybe it is easier in a big city where celebrities will often pass through.  Even then, meeting them at the venue or bumping into them on the street would seem rather remote.  I guess it happens.

Steve Grand lived in the Chicago area and actually worked in the neighborhood.  No, I had never met him.  Before his break-out album, All-American Boy, I had never heard of him so if I passed him on the street, I would not have known anyway.  If you have been following this space, you may have noticed the article presented here on his music.  You certainly would have remembered the publicity photo.

All-American Boy

All-American Boy

In a city like Chicago you might think there would be plenty of opportunities to see a local talent, especially after he has had some success.  Aside from the album release party in 2015 and a one performance appearance in Rent at the Athenaeum Theater, there was no opportunity to see him last year.

There are a number of small clubs where the talent probably makes little money and performs for the experience, exposure or love of the craft.  There are also plenty of big theaters, arenas and stadiums in the area.  Midsize clubs that can seat enough people to draw in talent like Steve are lacking.

Fortunately, a new space opened in Chicago with a room just right for such shows.  Actually, I should say it is a re-done space.  I had been there in a previous incarnation, but this time it seems much more versatile. A club called Seven has opened in a place that has seen a number of businesses over the years.  Maybe this one will stick and bring us a better range of entertainment.

Steve Grand at Seven

Steve Grand at Seven

The club seating is general admission with a twist.  One price level of tickets gets you anywhere in the first three rows, and the second level price gets you a seat anywhere else.  I was early enough to grab a front row seat while others headed to the bar out front or in the performance space.  I did not know until later that I was seated about ten feet from Steve’s parents.

The small stage would not fit many people, but this was just Steve and the piano.  The bulk of the show featured songs from the album, All-American Boy, although he did not play every one of them.  You miss the production values of the album, but being close to the performer and hearing the stripped down instrumentation give the songs a much more intimate feel.  You could tell that Steve slowed some of the songs down from the album version.

At the piano

At the piano

A few cover songs were sprinkled into the mix.  Steve admits that Elton John was an influence on him, primarily because Elton plays piano and sings.  Steve did well with “Bennie and the Jets.”  He also gave us a much better version of “Sorry” than Justin Bieber is giving us.  Not only was there some feeling to the song, but Steve is a better singer.

He could have skipped the cover of Adele’s overdone Hello.  It’s not that it was not a good job, but it immediately calls up a comparison with the rather bombastic version Adele has all over the airways right now.  In truth, Steve toned it down to give it some depth of feeling that all of Adele’s shouting can not provide.

Steve Grand

Steve Grand

We learned that Steve is in fact working on a new album and hopes to have something out later in the year.  He spoke briefly of the amazing year that passed.  As a high-profile gay performer, he was in demand at a lot of Pride events in the historic past year.  He was also invited to play overseas.  This year, South Africa will be on his list of stops.  We hope Chicago will be on the list again.

After the show Steve spent a lot of time to “meet and greet.”  He took pictures with many and signed some autographs.  Throughout the show and afterwards, he was warm and gracious.  He seemed to revel in the rare appearance before a home town crowd in a neighborhood where he used to work.

Meet and Greet

Meet and Greet

While Steve was meeting people, I spoke with his mother for about ten minutes.  I told her I loved the album but could not follow the story of the last song.  I said that it obviously was not Steve’s story.  She told me that it was indeed based on a real story, and she told me about the high school trip of 2006 to California that he refers to in the song.  She even told me there was a video, which I had never seen.  So I chased it down.  His mother was just as pleasant as Steve, or perhaps I should put that the other way around.


Categories: Entertainment, Music, Rich Paschall

Tags: , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Sunday Night Blog and commented:

    Although he lives in the Chicago area, there does not seem to be much opportunity to see Steve Grand here. Last year I caught a rare live performance at a local club.


  2. Lovely talent there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rich, thanks for sharing. I love the back story.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. A SATURDAY AFTERNOON FOR YOURSELF – Rich Paschall – Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Story Board

News Stories

Covert Novelist

Just another WordPress site

The Small Dog

Life from the Tail End

Cee's Chronic Illness Sisterhood

Peer support and hope for women with Chronic Illness and their support team.

Salted Caramel

Blogging, Motivation, Lifestyle and much more.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

Making My Home A Haven is important to me. Sharing homemaking skills. Recipes and food. Bible Studies. This is a treasure chest of goodies. So take a seat. Have a glass of tea and enjoy. You will learn all about who I am.

Green Screen

The Environmental Movie Podcast


Crittering (noun) - the observation of critters in their natural habitat.

Works by Martha Kennedy

Historical Fiction, Memoir and Paintings

bushboys world

Photos of my world and other stuff I hope you will enjoy too. Photos taken with Canon PowershotSX70HS Photos can be purchased.


Independent views from someone who offers some historical context

Official Site of Speaker, Historian and Author Sean Munger


I use the best, I use the rest

This, That, and The Other

Random musings on life, society, and politics.

My Blog

Just another site

I'm a Writer, Yes, I Am!

Martha Ann Kennedy's Blog, Copyright 2013-2020, all rights reserved to the author/artist

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

Views from the Edge

To See More Clearly

serial monography: forgottenman's ruminations

wandering discourse, pedantic rant, self-indulgent drivel, languorous polemic, grammarian's bête noire, poesy encroachment approaching bombast, unintended subtext in otherwise intentional context, unorthodox unorthodoxy, self-inflected rodomontade, …

draliman on life

Because sometimes life just makes you stop and think

The English Professor at Large

Posts about old Hollywood, current concerns



The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writing, and More



Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Welcome to the Anglo Swiss World


The Fun Side Of Science

%d bloggers like this: