Chicago enjoyed a night of good old fashioned New Jersey rock n’ roll, courtesy of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.

The House of Blues, Chicago welcomed back favorite, Keithen Banks, who got the party started with his own blend of soulful rock.  His honest storytelling captivated the audience, whilst his and the band’s beautiful voices and perfect mix of guitars got everyone into the groove, even instigating an audience dance-off. It’s no wonder they regularly received a resounding course of “amen” from the passionate crowd.

The atmosphere was kept on a high when Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes took to the stage. A group of extremely talented musicians who looked like they were up there playing with their friends and having fun. In a similar vein to Keithen Banks, Johnny continued the storytelling – a charismatic frontman who had the audience dancing and singing along for the full two and a half hour marathon set. Much like the crowd, their enthusiasm didn’t falter once.

Playing a mixture of old and new songs (at least the new songs he remembered the words to!), it wouldn’t be a Southside Johnny show without him paying homage to fellow New Jersey native, Bruce Springsteen; he covered a number of his songs including “Talk To Me” and “The Fever,” along with several Little Steven songs.  Of course, they had to finish on a high – with their version of Sam Cooke’s “Havin’ A Party.”

This was a fantastic night and it’s always an absolute pleasure to see a band having genuine fun, doing what they clearly love. Their links with Bruce Springsteen are clear to hear. Any Springsteen fan who hasn’t yet seen Southside Johnny, now is the time to go do just that. The band is made up of fantastic musicians who all looked like they were having the time of their lives making it impossible to single out any one person for praise, other than to say it was a great performance.

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
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Keithen Banks Band
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House of Blues
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About The Author

Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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