The Way It Is Now

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Just a reminder that Bruce Hornsby will be handing out free copies of his boxed set, Intersections: 1985—2005 , to everyone who pays for a ticket to his Playhouse Square concert on Wednesday.
You want hits that sound like the record? Ask Bono.
Still, don't expect to hear the songs you know and love played exactly like you remember them. On the box and in concert, Hornsby drastically reworks his catalog, which includes the hits "The Way It Is," "Mandolin Rain," and "The Valley Road." "It's a way better approach, musically," he tells us. "I'm not saying the standard way is boring. The Chili Peppers play it straight, but they're not boring. They're gonna be jumping around and all that. And look at U2. They're gonna play it real straight, but they have those great songs, and Bono's gonna sing the hell out of them. But that approach isn't for me." Hornsby's advice to folks who want to hear the hits just like he played them 20 years ago? "There's a greatest-hits record out there that was put out to mine the catalog," he says. "That's there, if someone wants that. To just put the old record out there again doesn't address what my whole thing is really about. I'm really proud of the songs on the first two records, but to me, most of my interesting music came later." Like when he joined the Dead on tour, filling the piano-player spot left vacant after the drug-related death of its 347th keyboard player. "I definitely picked up a good group of adventurous listeners with them," he says. "But frankly, let's be serious: A lot of people who go to hear those groups are there for the party. They don't give a rat's ass about pushing the musical envelope." Hornsby goes on about 8 p.m. at the Allen Theatre. -- Michael Gallucci

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