Garden Party 

It's hardly your typical picnic. With blankets and chairs scattered across the lawn, people of all ages gather to hear musicians rock the picturesque Memphis Botanic Garden. Such an alluring environment has made Live at the Garden, now in its seventh season, a classic Memphis concert series, and this year's opening act, Chicago, has music lovers especially enthused.

"Chicago is an act we've talked about every year but have never been able to get," says Sherry Misner, co-director for Live at the Garden. "It's such a natural fit. Getting Chicago epitomizes what we've tried to do creating the outdoor setting."

Live at the Garden is a chance not only to hear great music but also to visit with friends and family. "Lots of people come an hour early just to mix and mingle," Misner says. And because of the affordable ticket price and the garden's central location, Misner adds, anyone can go.

While Misner is excited about Live at the Garden's entire lineup — which includes Natalie Cole, Al Green, Chris Isaak, and Michael McDonald — she's really thrilled about the Chicago concert. The horns-driven band has been pleasing audiences with their energetic blast of songs and sweeter-than-sweet ballads for 40 years.

"When we announced that Chicago was coming, I was getting phone calls all the time," Misner says. "I was even stopped in the grocery store with people saying, 'I can't believe you got Chicago!'"

Live at the Garden presents Chicago at the Memphis Botanic Garden, Saturday, June 9th. Gates open at 7 p.m.; show begins at 8:30 p.m. $35 for general lawn admission. For more information, go to www.liveatthegarden.com.

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