Tesla at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL

Tesla draw the crowds to the Chicago House of Blues for the first of two nights in the Windy City.

Despite the severe weather warnings and people being told to keep off the roads due to the impending ice storm that was forecast, the Chicago crowd still packed out the House of Blues. The Music Hall had drawn an impressive audience ready for the first of the three bands of the night to take to the stage.

Rubikon came out donning coats, hats and scarves, showing they were set for the moment the ice storm hit. It didn’t take long before they started taking off the layers as they warmed up both the crowd and themselves. These guys have been together for an impressive 18 years, and have certainly perfected how to keep an audience’s attention which Jae Sims’ vocals alone could do.

Next up were New York’s Year of the Locust. Straight out of the gate, these guys kicked things up a notch and got the audience fired up for the night ahead. Out of the three bands on the lineup, YOTL were on the heavier end of the spectrum compared to the others. Their stage presence was second to none, as every emotion was plastered across Scot McGiveron’s face with every word that he sang while bassist Fred Serrell worked every inch of the stage. It was a fun and energetic set which set the audience off talking about them during the break before Tesla took to the stage. They clearly picked up more than a few extra fans from this set.

It was finally time for the band the fans had been waiting for – Tesla. While they waited for the guys from Sacramento to take to take their turn, the screens across the back of the stage showed reminders to pre-order their upcoming album, Shock, which is set for release on March 8. Not that anyone here needed reminding of that. The stage was cleared and ready for them to take their positions, just as Guns N Roses’ “Welcome To The Jungle” blasted out of the speakers, building that anticipation a little bit more. The moment the last note rang out, Tesla took to the stage to loud cheers from the audience. 

It’s impressive to see a band who have been together as long as Tesla, still have four out of five of their original members, especially since they are just celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of The Great Radio Controversy, the album which catapulted them into the limelight. To mark the celebration, they performed “Be A Man” from this breakthrough album, a song which they haven’t performed live in 30 years.

Jeff Keith’s voice is still as strong as ever, even though he didn’t stand still for a moment, as he worked the crowd, leaning over to fist-bump the eager fans in the front row. The night was filled with guitar-laden tracks, but little did the audience know that there one more guitar was going to get added as special guest, Jared James Nichols joined them on stage to perform “Cumin’ Atcha” with them.

Whilst the set covered their lengthy career, they were sure to include the favorites such as “Modern Day Cowboy” and “Love Song,” as well as the gritty, guitar-laden title track from their upcoming album, giving everyone a taste of things to come. 

Tesla have dates scheduled throughout 2019, including some with their old friends Def Leppard, so be sure to check them out.

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About Kirstine Walton 291 Articles
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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