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Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes – Musik at the Sands – A New Beginning!

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes – Musik at the Sands – A New Beginning!

by Michael McKenna
PA Music

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes kicked off what is probably the most important concert series for the future of Lehigh Valley Music, ArtsQuest and Steel Stacks. With about 1300 die-hard fans in attendance, Southside Johnny entertained them with 22 songs over a span of about just under 2 hours. With 3 decades behind him, Johnny used his golden pipes to entertain the crowd with 6 songs from his new CD “Pills & Ammo”, signature Jukes numbers and some nice classic rock selections.

While the crowd was slow to respond to some of the newer numbers played early in the set, such as “Cross The Line”, Johnny Lyon energized the crowd and brought people to their feet with his classic “This Time It’s for Real” from the late 70’s and a request from the crowd, “Talk to Me”. Their version of the Left Banke’s classic “Walk Away Renee” had the crowd singing along and doing air guitar and the energy was starting to build rapidly.

With his powerful, raspy, piercing vocals, Johnny invoked visions of The Boss with “Lead Me On” and his band the Jukes offered tight harmonies, excellent instrumentation and pulsating rhythms throughout the show which at times rivaled the great Clarence Clemons and the Tower of Power horn section.

“Keep on Moving” and “Woke up This Morning” saw Johnny Lyon performing his mastery with the mouth organ and the Jukes having a fun time with the jam. “Love on The Wrong Side of Town” had the crowd on their feet, dancing in the aisles and singing along as the energy built up to a peak.

As the pitch increased, so did the temperature as Johnny started closing the show with “The Fever” with some references to the local steel mill and furnaces that was really a hit with the crowd. He played with the fans with “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” as they were in an energized frenzy that brought a standing ‘O’ for his performance.

The encore was “I’ve Been Working Too Hard” a nice lengthy jam and “Trapped Again”. The crowd now cheered nonstop for another encore that lasted nearly 5 minutes and were rewarded with the Sam Cooke classic “We’re Having a Party” that even had security and the staff moving and grooving.

What a party it was! The crowd was enthusiastic and it set up visions of what is going to come at future events.