Peter Cetera.
Peter Cetera. (GETTY IMAGES)

He is the voice behind dozens of the biggest radio hits of the 1970s, '80s and '90s. He has played all around the country and all over the globe, but now Peter Cetera's coming to Boarding House Park in Lowell this weekend as part of the Lowell Summer Music Series.

Tickets for the Saturday night show, which starts at 7:30, are $69 in advance, $75 day of the concert, and are available at www.lowellsummermusic.org.

Cetera, of course, was an original member of Chicago and fronted the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band from its inception in 1967 through its biggest hits in the 1980s, leaving in 1985 to pursue a solo career.

He didn't sing lead on every Chicago song in the 1970s, as those duties were split among him, Terry Kath and Robert Lamm, but Cetera sings lead on "25 or 6 to 4," "Feelin' Stronger Every Day," "Old Days," "If You Leave Me Now" and "Baby, What a Big Surprise" in the 1970s.

Then, when David Foster started producing Chicago in the 1980s, the run of hits reached a fever pitch with "Hard to Say I'm Sorry," "Love Me Tomorrow," "Stay the Night," "Hard Habit to Break," "You're the Inspiration" and "Along Comes a Woman" all reaching the top 40.

Cetera left the group, but the solo hits kept on coming with "Glory of Love," "The Next Time I Fall" (a duet with Amy Grant), "One Good Woman" and "Restless Heart" all reached the top 40, with the first three all reaching the top five and the first two reaching No.


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1. His Cher duet, "After All," also reached No. 6 on the pop singles chart.

A check of a recent setlist shows he's playing most of those Chicago songs on his current tour, so you're going to get the hits.

Cetera said he's playing more shows this year than he has in recent years, mindful of the passing of so many legends the past few years. Although he's a regular at casinos and on the American touring circuit, he's actually doing a few shows in Europe later this year, which he's excited about.

"I've got a great band, and these guys are great to play with live," he said.

He's leaving plenty of room in the show to share some stories about the songs, too, so expect to hear all the hits under the stars at Boarding House Park on Saturday night.

Getting to the Heart of it all

Cetera isn't the only great voice coming through the area this weekend, as Ann Wilson will come to the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on Friday, Aug. 3, with Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers as part of the Stars Align Tour.

Wilson, who is best known as the lead singer of Heart, is touring in support of her new solo album Immortal, which features covers of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," David Bowie's "I'm Afraid of Americans," Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me" and Tom Petty's "Luna."

From a check of a recent setlist, she's playing a few covers in the show, including The Who ("The Real Me" and "Won't Get Fooled Again"), Yes ("Your Move") and the Eagles ("Life in the Fast Lane").

The two surprises to anyone who knows the Heart catalog and the Wilson sisters' backstory is that there's only one Heart song in the setlist ("Barracuda") and no Led Zeppelin songs. That's interesting only because the Wilson sisters formed a side band called The Lovemongers, who contributed their cover of Led Zep's "The Battle of Evermore" to the soundtrack for the movie Singles and also played at the Kennedy Center Honors show honoring the seminal band. (They also toured with Jason Bonham, son of Zep drummer John Bonham, a few years ago at a show where they played an entire set of Zeppelin songs, but I digress.)

Wilson told me in a phone interview last week that the setlist choices are by design.

"This isn't a Heart show," she said. "It's a show filled with the music that has shaped and inspired me."

As for those rumors that Heart is done, Wilson said that's not true.

"Nancy and I right now are playing the music each of us wants to play right now," she said.

So don't close the doors just yet on ever seeing Heart again.

The package-tour concept didn't originally appeal to Wilson, who has played on package tours with Heart.

"I didn't want to do that again, but when they told me Paul Rodgers and Jeff Beck were on the tour, I signed up immediately."

If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, what are you waiting for?