Monday, April 14, 2008

Southside at the House of Blues 5 April 2008

Except for Michael Stanley and the various outfits he has fronted (MSB, Ghost Poets, Resonators), no one has played more venues in Northern Ohio over the last thirty years than Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Starting with the old Agora, the Coliseum, Blossom, the Front Row, the Odeon, the new Agora, Nautica, Tower City, Cain Park and who knows where else over the years.
Last Saturday he did his first show at the House of Blues Cleveland, and it went like all the rest of the Cleveland Southside shows have gone over the years. He starts out doing his usual show, and believe me when I say this because I have seen him more than a few times in places other than Northern Ohio, it is different than a Cleveland show. But when he plays here by the sixth or seventh song the set list is trashed and he pretty much stays with the material from his first three albums, back when his popularity in our area put him on the some level as Bob Seger and other rockers of the era.
This time Southside brought an eight-piece band of old and newer Jukes, and they gave a solid and enthusiastic performance. Besides the material from the first three albums there were a few surprises and some newer material.
The most recent material included “In the Harbor” and “On the Beach” from recent albums. The surprises included a spirited cover of the J.Geils Band’s “Looking for Love”; a soulful version of Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home”; and a jazzy arrangement of the Frank Sinatra standard “Luck be the Lady.”
But it was the old songs the audience came to hear and the Jukes responded, including “Take it Inside,” “Love on the Wrong Side of Town,” “”Without Love,” “I Don’t Want to go Home,” “The Fever,” “Walk Away Renee,” “This Time It’s for Real,” and “We’re Havin’ a Party.”
Southside and the boys will probably resurface in Northern Ohio sometime this summer, they usually do. You can check out their tour schedule The House of Blues as always has a lot of good things coming up. I’m really looking forward to the Asia show on April 19, featuring all four original members of the early 80’s super group.
The House of Blues was perfect for the Southside show. It was crowded but not packed, there was enough room to dance, sing along, and to “reach up and touch the sky.”

No comments: