I was at that show, but before it started I had no idea what was to come.
The Saturday night "food poisoning" show actually started out from what I can remember a very solid performance. The show had a loose feel to it, and the band seemed comfortable and in a nice groove.
I'd been to the second Chicago show in '73, all three in '75, and the first and second show in '77. This was the third performance of four, and it was, it seemed, shaping up to be another amazing experience that I felt fortunate to be able to attend.
We weren't close that night, our seats were to the left side of the stage in the mezzanine section pretty much at the other end of the old Chicago Stadium. It was a big building, so I couldn't tell what Jimmy looked like before the incident from that vantage point. But when they pulled out a chair and he sat down, I remember being pretty confused.... I recall thinking, what is he up too? Where are they in the set? He doesn't sit here does he?
They finished the number, and after that it's all a blur. Jimmy was gone, and there was a lot of confusion in the crowd. The band went off stage, but I don't remember what it looked like, or who left first. I think Robert said something, but again, everything was a blur. We speculated that maybe something pissed the band off and they left the stage.
I know Robert hated rough stuff in the crowd, fireworks, etc., so it seemed feasible that they may have seen something they didn't like and walked off.
The P.A. announcement came over, the show was over, and we filed out of the building stunned. I can't remember what the announcement was, but we were worried that something pretty bad had to have happened for a band that regularly played 3 hour sets with no warm-up act to leave in the middle of a show.
We drove home stunned, I don't remember even talking to the other guys I was with on the way home.
On top of that, I had second row main floor seats for the next night, and the possibility was there that there may or may not be another show....
But as we now know, there was. Jimmy was none the worse for wear, and the "Stormtrooper" did not disappoint. We did sit second row, and I got some great photos, one of which is being used as an avatar in this thread. And on top of that, at one point Jimmy looked down into the crowd, pointed at me and smiled because I was pointing up at him with both hands simulating the way he positioned his hands when using the theremin or sometimes held his pick, and he returned the gesture.
I'm a lucky guy, got to see two pretty historic shows back to back, and got many unbelievable memories of a band the likes of which we will never see again.....