The horn section was blazing right from the set opener, ‘Shake ‘Em on Down’, the Jukes’ triple-time update of the old 1937 Delta blues classic. Baby boomers in the crowd responded to 1966’s ‘Walk Away Renee’ which was matched up with Tom Waits’ ‘Gin Soaked Boy’, with Johnny growling vocally like Waits and peppered by some Jersey Shore sax. “We’re in Minnesota tonight, I should have known that from the thirty-two Lutheran churches that I passed by”, Johnny cheekily remarked after.
Johnny and the Jukes also pulled out a few covers from their Jersey friend, Bruce Springsteen, notably ‘The Fever’ and ‘Talk to Me’, the latter of which had several in the audience be invited up to help sing the chorus. In the spirit of the Dr. John show I caught earlier in the day, Johnny commented on the humidity and called an audible to the band, delving into Jersey compatriot Gary US Bonds’ ‘New Orleans’ which brought the horns to the forefront, along with next song, ‘Without Love’.
“I need some rock n roll at this juncture!”, said Johnny pleading to the band to raise the tempo up, “let’s do that” he said, as one of the members went into the first notes of ‘Happy’, with Johnny doing his best Keith Richards as well as unleashing with a mid-song harmonica solo.
Loose and fun, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes brought the party with them, and as evidenced between the setlist and what was actually played (wildly different), the band was having a good time as well, showing off the forty years of experience as being one of the great bar bands to see live.
Southside Johnny's tour dates:
07/03/15 Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony
07/04/15 Albany, NY Empire State Plaza
07/08/15 Copiague, NY Tanner Park
07/10/15 Enfield, CT Town Green
07/12/15 Alexandria, VA Birchmere
07/31/15 Matunuck, RI Ocean Mist
08/01/15 Truro, MA Payomet Perf Arts Center
08/02/15 Salisbury, MA Blue Ocean Music Hall
08/14/15 South Park, PA South Park Amph
08/15/15 Cleveland Heights, OH Evans Amph
09/19/15 West Springfield, MA "The Big E"
09/20/15 West Springfield, MA "The Big E"
09/21/15 West Springfield, MA "The Big E"
10/02/15 Fairfield, CT The Warehouse
10/16/15 Niagara Falls, NY Seneca Niagara
11/06/15 Newton, NJ The Newton Theatre
11/07/15 Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center
11/20/15 Hartford, CT Infinity Hall Hartford
11/21/15 Manchester, NH Palace Theatre
12/26/15 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
12/31/15 Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theatre
02/05/16 Newport News, VA Ferguson Center
02/06/16 Wilmington, DE Grand Opera House
Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes at Rolling River Music Fest, Red Wing, MN (27 June 2015)