Max Weinberg’s Jukebox is rock and roll paradise. The gifted drummer, veteran of late-night TV and the E Street band, led his band through a set of classic tunes along with a few deeper cuts Thursday night at the Greenwich Odeum. WhatsUpRI was there to document the evening.
Most of the songs at each show are selected by the fans from a scrolling list of 300+ tunes from artists including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Weinberg steps out into the crowd every few songs to add to the setlist. It’s truly a different experience every night and enthusiastic fans love the format.
Weinberg’s fan-chosen RI setlist ranged from the early rock years with Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” to the punk period with tunes like the Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated,” and Elvis Costello’s “Pump it Up.” He worked in the surf rock classic “Wipeout,” as well as “the other Elvis,” performing a stirring take of “Suspicious Minds.”
Although most tunes fit the 60’s/70’s rock paradigm, a few like the Johnny Cash classic “Folsom Prison Blues,” and the Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” stretched the sound a bit. Overall, the show was well balanced with a few surprises. His backing band, the New Jersey based Weaklings included Glen Burtnik (Lefty Weekling), Bob Burger (Zeek Weekling), and John Merjave (Rocky Weekling).
A few more classics like Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl,” and the Beatles “Hard Day’s Night” were sprinkled into the wide-ranging set. Other highlights included an over-the-top version of Cheep Trick’s “Surrender,” and “Open My Eyes,” a guitar driven rocker from Todd Rundgren’s first band, the Nazz.
And of course, Weinberg’s boss, Bruce Springsteen was well represented with a killer version of “She’s the One,” as well as the closer, “Glory Days,” where Weinberg invited the crowd to sing and dance along onstage.
Be sure to check out Weinberg’s Jukebox when they tour again – meanwhile, check out some pics from the show. (All Photos: Ken Abrams)