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The System: The Bob Seger Tribute band

George Nichols leads The System: The Bob Seger Tribute band.

George Nichols leads The System: The Bob Seger Tribute band.

During Artown, Reno will get a taste of old time rock and roll. The System: The Bob Seger Tribute band will make their debut in Reno. Coming from Michigan, Seger's home state, The System will perform at Artown's Rollin' On The River event, and their goal is to lift and captivate the audience with their talent.

Throughout the '60s, '70s and '80s, Bob Seger's lyrics and rock tunes earned him at least 13 platinum albums and classic songs such as “Turn the Page,” “Hollywood Nights,” and of course, “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

Lead vocalist George Nichols has pulled off all of Seger's features and his voice is so similar, you might be mistaken that he could be Seger. The band has been performing for more than a decade, and Nichols hopes the band's performance will bring a musical movement for those who attend—and little bit of the '70s—all just for this one night in Artown.

“Personally, one of the reasons we did this is because we all liked the music,” Nichols said. “It seems like everywhere we went, there were people who liked at least one of Bob Seger's songs. His music seems to connect with a lot of people.”

That's the kind of vibrancy The System will bring to Artown this year. Although Reno is a city full of youth, Nichols said Seger's lyrics about working for a living, taking that one motorcycle trip and relationships would connect the audience together.

Nichols has been performing at Midwestern clubs with his band for 13 years. He said he's been listening to Seger before the world knew about his music. They performed his late '60s songs such as “Ramblin' Gamblin' Man” and “Get Out Denver,” which he thought were just local hits. After Seger's Beautiful Loser album, Nichols said it all just skyrocketed from there. He performed Seger's songs in clubs and then in 2001, he formed the System through people he met at a music store he owned.

“The musicians I'm working with have pretty much been in place for a long time,” Nichols said. “I feel really lucky I'm playing with a talented band and this is the best band I could be working with.”

Nichols has also been a volunteer vocalist for other Bob Seger tribute bands when they were in need for a singer. Not only does Nichols have similar features, but he represents Seger's energy and talent with instruments.

“People aren't going to see the guitar player for Bob Seger, they're coming to see Bob Seger as accurately as possible,” Nichols said. “That's what we concentrated on—to be accurate and present the band with a lot of energy.”

Nichols also said he looks forward to meeting the Reno community and hopes he and the band will get to tour Reno and check out local restaurants. Nichols said it's all about the music and without Seger's work, they wouldn't have much to do.

“There aren't quite that many shows out there, and we don't work quite that much but the opportunity to get out there in Reno, a high profile city—it's great to visit someplace we've never been to and show them what we're all about,” Nichols said.

The System performs at Rollin' On the River at 5:30 p.m. on July 25 in Wingfield Park.