Chicago , Ill (June 7, 2013)- There is nothing like going to a show and being amazed by the shear talent of the performers on stage.  Be it guitar masters, drummers, singers or orchestra but live music will never get old.  Friday night at the House of Blues in Chicago was one of those nights where pure music makers were showcasing their talents.

Opening up Friday was Magic Box, an “American Rock” band hailing from Chicago.  I only caught the final two songs of their performance and was able to catch these guys having fun jamming on stage.  Its great seeing a band who has fun performing on stage rather than those bands who go through the motions.

Next to grace the stage was Miles Nielson Presents The Rusted Hearts.  Nielson is the son of legendary performer Rick Nielson of the classic rock band Cheap Trick.  I was impressed by how tight the band was on stage and the three guitarists they had at times going back and forth during jam sessions.  Nielson’s voice is one of the best I have heard in a while.  He has a fresh classic rock and southern style coupled with masterful lyrics that made the guys a great music find for me.  “Dear Kentucky (You’re Killing Me)” and “Baby Blue” were a few of the songs that caught my ears.  Nielson notes on his website bio that “songs are the key”.  Also sharing that “There are very few, however, who are writing music that makes you immediately wish there was “more” – another song to make you turn up the volume, another nugget of melody or lyric that you can find some part of to make your own”.  Brilliant I must say, keeping away from the “next big thing” mentality and staying true to their roots.  I grabbed a copy of their album and met a few members of the band before completing my night.

The headliner was The Steepwater Band, a Chicago quartet who’s sound is Classic America Blues Rock.  This was the second time i’ve been able to catch the guys live.  The first time I witnessed them I was in awe of the the guitar talents being displayed by lead guitarist and vocalist Jeff Massey.  Jeff is a master on the guitar and the rest of the band with Joe Winters on drums, Tod Bowers on bass and Eric Saylors as second guitar and backup vocals are a tight knit group.  They had the House of Blues rocking with their rendition of “Revelation Sunday” among their catalog of hits.  The Steepwater Band is a group you should definitely catch if they are in a city near you and make sure to pick up a copy of their live album “Live at the Double Door”.   It’s a must hear album.

Check out the bands at-
The Steepwater Band –
Miles Nielson featuring the Rusted Hearts –
Magic Box –

Evan J Thomas


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Thank you for checking out Gig Archives. I hope you found the content to your liking. Gig Archives is the final band orientated website I will operate. It is no longer the labor of love  it once was in 2009- 2015.  Within the site years of special moments are documented in  photos and interviews. Gig Archives will continue have new posts as I am the House Photographer: U.S. Cellular Center, The Paramount Theater, McGrath Amphitheater, and the Ice Arena in Cedar Rapids through Venue Works. When approved I will post photos from my house gigs. I also shoot gigs for Riverside Casino in Riverside, Iowa. I am a drummer and have devoted all my free time to lessons and operating Drummer Photographer. Drummer Photographer is a site dedicated to drummers. Peace