It’s impossible to not have a good time at a Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers concert. Their attitude and music are so upbeat, fun, and joyous. Performing Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love,” Nicki belts out the vocals so intensely that Grace Slick herself would have to be impressed. Nicki then talks about visiting North Ave beach before the show. “It’s like spring break down there! I love Chicago!” They close out their set with two of their best songs, Ravenous and Little Too Late.
When they return for their encore, none of the audience has left. As the band gathers around a single microphone, Nicki polls the crowd on who attended the “Fare Thee Well” Grateful Dead concerts at Soldier Field. She informs us she wishes she could have, but was recharging her batteries on the Muir Trail. In a tribute, they cover Jerry Garcia’s “Deal,” a song played by the Dead on many occasions. This band has definitely learned a lot from the music that came before them. Afterwards, as they play their final song of the night and the crowd’s energy remains high, it’s clear Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers has a bright future ahead of them and will continue coming to Chicago time and time again.