From playing shows at water parks, and playing their first show at JBTV back in summer 2013, to releasing an album that debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, JBTV alumni X Ambassadors have been working nonstop over the last three years. X Ambassadors released their debut album VHS in June, 2015 and kicked off their VHS 2.0 tour in March of this year. Band manager Seth Kallen told JBTV Wednesday before the X Ambassadors sold out show at House of Blues Chicago that “It’s been a wild ride since X Ambassadors’ first visit to JBTV… We came through around the time we put out the Love Songs Drug Songs EP… Since then, the band has hustled, toured the country multiple times, released a lot of great music, and broke through on a much larger level with the single ‘Renegades’ and the album VHS”.
Before X Ambassadors took the historic House of Blues stage, Savoir Adore put on a phenomenal performance that set the energy high for the night. This was Savoir Adore’s first time back in Chicago in two years, and lead singer Paul Hammer told us “Savoir Adore is very fortunate to be on this tour”. He also let us know that they will be releasing their debut album on August 12th, and hope to make it back to the Windy City. The band got the whole crowd involved, and even broke out cowbells, as they performed some of their fan’s favorites, including their hit single Giants.
Following Savoir Adore, Seinabo Sey played a soulful set that included songs from her debut album Pretend which was released back in October. By the time Seinabo Sey’s set wrapped up, the House of Blues was filled to capacity in anticipation. The audience was filled with fans of all ages, which proves what a diverse fan base X Ambassadors has gained throughout the years. Avid concert goer, McKenna Haynes, said, “I have both albums and this is my third time seeing them in Chicago… their energy is crazy’.” She was definitely right, as the crowd erupted with excitement as the lights went down and X Ambassadors took the stage.
X Ambassadors’ high spirits were contagious from their opening song Loveless, and all the way through their set. Their set list included hit songs from VHS including their #1 single Renegades, as well as some older fan favorites including Giants, from The Reason EP which was released in August 2015. Lead singer Sam Harris surprised the crowd with his saxophone skills which he showed off during Love Songs, Drug Songs, which was the title track of the band’s first EP and was included in their set list back when they played at JBTV. The band dynamic between brothers Sam and Casey Harris and their long-time friends Noah Felshuh and Adam Levin created such an entertaining atmosphere and kept the crowd engaged. The whole crowd sang along every word as the band performed a few of their most popular tracks like Unsteady and Gorgeous.
The set included a perfect blend of acoustic and electric sounds and Chicago couldn’t get enough. X Ambassadors returned to the stage for an encore which began with B.I.G. and concluded their set with Unconsolable, which is another track the band played at JBTV almost three years ago that has remained a fan favorite. Kallen told us “We’re very lucky to have folks like JBTV who have supported the band since day one”.