Jonny Lang & JJ Grey and Mofro at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL

Jonny Lang and JJ Grey & Mofro have joined forces for a summer tour, and we caught their Chicago show.

This show didn’t have an opener, and so got straight down to business with JJ Grey & Mofro being the first up. Luckily, the House of Blues Chicago was looking reasonably full by the time they took to the stage. There’s something about summer concerts that have that party-atmosphere, and this one was definitely one of those nights. The beer was flowing and the audience were here for a good time, and that’s exactly what they got. These co-headliners each performed an hour and a half set meaning that those in attendance got plenty of bang for their buck. No opener, no filler, just three solid hours of headlining quality performance. 

JJ Grey took to the stage looking rather dapper in his grey suit. From the moment he stepped out on his he had a smile which showed he too was in the spirit for a great night. Their blend of southern swamp rock engulfed the crowd and had them dancing all the way up in the top balconies.

This seven-piece band was engaging throughout. Each member of the band had their moment in the spotlight as they all got the opportunity to perform a solo. They all looked like they were enjoying themselves every bit as much as the growing crowd was. After a set like this, many could have gone home happy that they’d had a great night, but there was still plenty more to come.

After the audience was given a chance to catch their breath and a quick stage change around, it was time for Jonny Lang to round out the night. Often you’ll see musicians where the music and emotion embody them. Never can this be truer than with Jonny Lang. From the very first note, Lang was emitting such a high level of pure emotion, a member of the audience even commented that they felt they needed to go and give him a hug! That’s how much this guy puts into his performances.

At 38 years of age, the experience and performance that he brings to the table feel like that of a veteran musician several years his elder. However, this is not surprising since he released his first platinum album at the meager age of 15, and was Grammy nominated by 17. By the time he was 25, he probably had more experience than most 50-year-old musicians. 

It’s clear to see why Lang gets invited to join fellow guitar virtuosos and blues veterans on the Experience Hendrix tour. His music is deeply enriched with his old school influences while adding his own personal, modern flare to it. 

You can’t help but be transfixed when Lang is performing. He is completely consumed from head to toe by the music and brings the right balance between the searing guitar riffs and the soulful, bluesy singing. 

It was an impressive night of musicianship all around, and fun was had by all. 

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About Kirstine Walton 383 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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