Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes were having a party at the Chicago House of Blues, and they invited everyone!
06-Aug-2016: It was just over a year since Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes brought their blend of New Jersey rock n’ roll to the House of Blues stage in Chicago, and they were welcomed back with open arms. From the first note to the last, the audience sang and danced along, many with beaming smiles, thoroughly enjoying the fun Saturday night. It was difficult to tell whose energy was reflecting onto whom, as equally big smiles shone back at the crowd from the stage.
Throughout the night, Johnny Lyon encouraged the enthusiastic audience to shout out song requests, which they did in abundance. At one point, when Jeff Kazee had a song in mind he wanted to sing, he was inundated with shouted requests to which he exclaimed, “You’ve created a monster here!”
While Southside Johnny is a charismatic, funny, and incredibly talented frontman, it does not do the show justice only to mention him. This band is full of talented musicians. Kazee was bursting with energy as he swapped between playing keys and singing. Glenn Alexander is a superb guitarist who was beaming from ear to ear throughout. The camaraderie between the whole team was fantastic to witness. At one point, Johnny almost toppled Tony Tino as he pushed him away from the center stage by his bass to reclaim his spot.
The atmosphere of the venue was fun and relaxed as if it were a room full of friends. The fans that were there for Southside were primarily made up of long time fans; these are the diehards who have seen the band perform live multiple times, some as many as 20 times or more.
In between the songs, Southside joked with the audience sharing anecdotes, including one about the struggles of being in marriages while on the road, including those which he wasn’t even aware!
It wouldn’t be a Southside Johnny show without fan favorites like “Talk To Me,” “The Fever,” and “I Don’t Want To Go Home.” The band rounded out the night on a high with “Havin’ A Party,” which had the entire music hall singing along whole-heartedly.
Southside Johnny is a New Jersey rock staple. Listening to the band’s material, you can hear where many other rock legends we known and love took their inspiration. Their website has a quote from a well-known artist. “When I grew up I wanted to be a Juke,” said rock icon Jon Bon Jovi. “I still want to be a Juke.”
For a night of fun, dancing and foot tapping rock music, be sure to catch Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes as they tour throughout the US, right up until February 2017.