If you’ve been a musical Rip Van Winkle and are not familiar with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, you’ve missed out on the unfettered good times of their live performances. The undisputed crown princes of the bar band scene, they’ve amassed a worldwide cult following since their formative days in the Asbury Park musical incubator in 1976.
According to frontman John Lyon, it doesn’t matter if they are in Europe, Canada, the Jersey Shore or New York City: “It’s still that mystery of how to find the sweet spot. If you can find it, then you’re in beautiful paradise. If you don’t, then you try the next one.” During this show, the Jukes hit that sweet spot.
The packed house was treated to a scintillating two-hour show that began with the Zombies’ “Time of the Season” and ended with a rousing version of “Having a Party.” The 21-song set included a cover of Little Feat’s “Dixie Chicken,” with keyboardist extraordinaire Jeff Kazee handling the vocals, and the Springsteen-penned Jukes classic “Talk to Me,” which deftly segued into “On The Beach.”
Head to the nearest venue when Southside Johnny and his amazing Asbury Jukes are playing—and don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes.
– Howard B. Leibowitz