329 N. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60654
House of Blues Chicago opened in 1996 and is located in the historic Marina City complex on the Chicago River. Modeled after the spectacular “Estavovski” Opera House in Prague, the spectacular views from the exclusive Opera Boxes are a unique and unforgettable experience. From legendary acts such as The Who and Al Green to contemporary artists such as Pearl Jam and Jurassic 5, House of Blues Chicago has been host to some of the world’s most renowned musicians. In keeping with tradition, the House of Blues Chicago displays the “Crazy Quilt” and keeps a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi underneath its stage.
Décor: Beautiful! I forget how pretty this venue truly is with their sculptured stage architecture, crown moldings, and vibrant bright lights. I want to see all my concerts here! The venue consists of three levels; first is the floor for all of your moshing needs, second is my favorite with the opera boxes and small bar seating and standing area, the third is probably my least favorite where another main bar area is, tho there are two TV’s in each corner above the stage for the viewing pleasure of those on the third floor. Now with getting older I find myself drifting away from the claustrophobic crowds and the overabundance feeling of cutting a bitch on the dance floor. I have wandered my way up to the balcony area and occasionally the super sweet opera boxes to jam out amongst friends and fellow concert goers. I feel this is really the ONLY way to see a show. But honestly there isn’t a bad seat in the house. You could stand anywhere and have an exceptional view of the stage.
VIP at HOB: VIP is the supreme style of checking out a show at HOB! You get your own Private entry, Private elevator, special passes to go pretty much wherever you want, Private bar, and Super Private bathrooms!
Service: Pretty well organized from the point of getting in and getting ID’s checked for boozing it up. Get ready for the pat-downs and have your purses open ladies! HOB takes safety serious. The floor Security is remarkable! These guys are beasts, the way they were snatching crowd surfers up and pulling them to safety was a sight to see. Even tho HOB has a policy of no moshing, crowd surfing or head-walking it always happens. But let’s be honest here, if there wasn’t any crowd surfing the bouncers down front wouldn’t have their jobs so rock on wit it! And for all you little bitches on the floor getting angry about it causing a scene, that’s the risk you take when you choose to be out on the floor! Love it and deal with it or get out!
As for our server that was around before the show started she was pretty much non-existent once the show got rolling. Had to weasel our way to the bar for the rest of the night. But no complaints, it was expected being in the forefront of the packed balcony.
Thirsting: The drinks are unbelievably expensive, but that’s what downtown will getcha so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. I got a beer and a Jack n’ Coke that rang up to $14, madness! But whatever that’s what you call a night out in the Chi, plus that Jack only had a splash of Coke so I think I won that battle.
Since we are on the topic of drinks I have to mention a little something I have heard in regards to open tabs. I heard there is an automatic hold of $100 when running a tab and not all servers inform their patrons of such charge. Now I don’t know this firsthand cause I usually pay cash but if you are thinking about opening up a tab I would definitely ask your server or bartender ahead of time. It could be a rude awakening if you only spend $40 on liquor but get charged $140.
Food: HOB has their own restaurant. The interior is Cajun filled with colorful art along with blues music playing lightly in the background. I love sitting and eating at the bar. The bartenders are usually pretty friendly and I like talking to them about different drinks to order. As for food you can’t really go wrong! They have an array of food selections from tasty appetizers to share, to sandwiches, burgers, and salads. The best part about eating at the restaurant before a show is being able to reserve a seat for the show ahead of time. Ask your server how! Oh. And don’t forget every Sunday HOB has inspiring gospel performances and an amazing buffet.
Sounds: Top notch!
Parking: CRAZYTOWN!!! Flipping an extra $26 bucks on top of my $20 ticket to see a show. Insanity I tell you! I guess that old saying of paying for convenience is true. I don’t know what’s worse forking over the $26 bucks or being at the mercy of the CTA…..guess I’ll stop complaining.
Overall: As I mentioned before I can’t get over how astonishing this venue is to look at. I love it! If the only real down fall is to pay extra for parking on top of a reasonably cheap ticket I guess it’s not all that bad. The parking is very convenient and the guys do hustle to get you out of there so….ok HOB you win! You’re still my #1 after all.