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A Look Inside Jim Peterik’s World Stage Extravaganza
Dorothy Menker Theater on the campus of Moraine Valley Community College
Palos Hills, IL- January 26, 2002
Story and Photos by Andy Argyrakis 

Jim Peterik may not be a household musical name, especially outside of his home state Illinois, but it really should be considering all he’s accomplished. Probably after reading a few career milestones for this affluent singer/songwriter, you may say to yourself “Oh yeah, I know that guy.” Peterik began his musical career in the 60’s rock band The Ides of March, responsible for hits like “Vehicle,” and “L.A. Goodbye,” followed by an extensive stint in the 80s super- group Survivor. From then until now, he’s also written countless songs that have topped the charts, including tunes for members of Cheap Trick, The Beach Boys, R.E.O Speedwagon, Night Ranger, .38 Special, Van Halen, Lynard Skynard, The Storm, and his latest project World Stage.

Basically, Peterik’s World Stage concept is a collective troupe made up by musicians from the several aforementioned bands, as well as a few new artists, and stellar cast of backing musicians. Together, they’re able to take fans on a several hour, high-octane trip down memory lane, performing dozens of hits from their most successful eras. But not willing to only look back to the past, the World Stage idea also encompasses new songs, such as “Night of World Stage” and “We Believe,” featured early in their recent performance at Moraine Valley College.

throughout two sets, Peterik was joined by Don Barnes of .38 Special, Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger, Kevin Chalfant of The Storm, Janis Joplin tribute artist Cathy Richardson, blues guitarist Anthony Gomes, and up and coming artists Brian Anderson, Joe Vana, Jeff Boyle, and Marzette Griffith.  Chalfant’s appearance proved to be a first half highlight, during which he performed a spirited version of The Storm’s smash “I’ve Got a Lot to Learn About Love” and a rendition of the Peterik penned Survivor cuts “Summer Nights” and  “Can’t Hold Back.” He proved his voice is still as strong as ever, and he was able to hit even the highest notes of such tracks with complete control. Also, memorable during the first half was a brief set featuring Kelly Keagy, who sat behind the drum kit while singing Night Ranger’s power ballad “Sister Christian.” He then stepped up the front microphone to take over original group member Jack Blades’ part during Night Ranger’s classic rocker “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me.”

Jim Peterik of The Ides of March and Survivor
Kevin Chalfant of the Storm

After a brief intermission, Peterik took the stage minus the colossal backing band, and called out only the his collaborators from The Ides of March, to perform an acoustic rendition of “L.A. Goodbye.” Peterik then sought out a little help from his friend Don Barnes of .38 Special fame, to blaze through fan favorites “Caught Up in You,” “Hold On Loosely,” and “Rockin’ Into the Night.” Particularly poignant was the duo’s take on “Changed By Love,” a song Peterik and Barnes co-wrote, which first appeared on a .38 Special project and is currently featured on “The Day America Cried,” a benefit for the 9/11 tragedy also featuring Chalfant, Keagy, and Lynard Skynard’s Johny VanZandt.

The entertaining evening wasn’t without a few snags. Perhaps the biggest was The Ides of March’s reworked version of “Vehicle,” which has recently earned national attention once again, via a particular car commercial. During the concert, the song was stripped of its original rock and roll intensity and replaced with a drab and bluesy scaled back rendition. Another disappointment was the low quantity of Survivor material in the set, including some of their biggest hits “High On You,” “Burning Heart,” and the Peterik penned love song “The Search is Over.”

Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger

Don Barnes of .38 Special

But thankfully, the World Stage extravaganza didn’t leave out the 80s defining “Eye of the Tiger,” responsible for lighting the Rocky movie series on fire. It was during that finale track that every single guest took the stage, filling it to maximum capacity, looking like a gigantic rock and roll choir sharing vocal duties. Peterik took front and center for the gem, venturing out into the crowd and performing various guitar solos in practically every corner of the venue. And as he returned to the stage for the song’s final riff and subsequent bow, it was obvious the electrifying performance would leave fans “Rockin’ Into the Night.”

Additional information on the World Stage can be found at Those wanting to contribute to the 911 Relief Project can log onto Kevin Chalfant’s to purchase “The Day America Cried.”

Jim Peterik and Don  Barnes
Jim Peterik with Kevin Chalfant on background vocal
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