Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp at the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, IL

Jeff Beck was joined by Johnny Depp to bring songs from their album 18 to life on the stage of the Chicago Theatre. 

As the fans packed into the sold-out Chicago Theatre show, it was clear to see that one-half of the audience was there to see guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Beck and the other to see celebrity A-lister Johnny Depp, pledging their allegiances by either donning a Jeff Beck t-shirt or being dressed as Jack Sparrow or Depp himself. The show was originally billed as being a Jeff Beck show, but back in September, it was announced that Depp would be joining him for this date. With the pulling power of these two huge names, it’s no wonder the Chicago Theatre felt like it was going to burst at the seams.

Jeff Beck is the second of The Yardbirds to visit the city recently, with Eric Clapton performing at the United Center just last month. It takes a very special type of musician to be able to entertain an entire audience as an instrumentalist. For the first half of the show, Beck did exactly that. It was an impressive sight to behold as he performed a combination of original material and covers with his own unique slant on them. Beck was accompanied on stage by the extremely talented Rhonda Smith (bass), Anika Nilles (drums), and Robert Stevenson (keys). 

Back in 2016, Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck met for the first time and forged a solid friendship resulting in a decision to record music together. Fast forward to July 2022 when they released their joint album, 18. During the summer, Depp made some surprise appearances with Jeff Beck on his UK tour. Shortly after, the announcement came that he’d also be joining Beck on some of the US dates. 

It wasn’t until song 12 of the evening that Johnny Depp stepped out onto the stage to join his friend, and boy, did he make his presence known. The audience took to their feet as deafening screams filled the venue. Initially just joining in on the guitar, Depp then went on to provide the only vocals of the evening. Although, you could barely hear him sing due to the volume of the screams of his adoring fans.

Depp’s fans were certainly out in force to show their support as you could hear screams of “I love you, Johnny!” along with members of the front row reaching out to him and passing him gifts. Depp has not been invited to record and play with Beck simply as a result of his celebrity status. You have to have the musical chops which he more than proved he has.

Together, they performed a number of songs from their album, including “This is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr,” John Lennon’s “Isolation,” and ended the evening with “The Death and Resurrection Show.”

The tour is on a slight hiatus until November 1.

JEFF BECK
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JOHNNY DEPP
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THE CHICAGO THEATRE
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About Kirstine Walton 386 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!