Max Weinberg is a rocking fun time at the Odeum

photo by Doug MacGunnigle

by Doug MacGunnigle, WPRO

Legendary drummer Max Weinberg brought his fun and entertaining ‘jukebox’ show to the Odeum in East Greenwich last night with a set of rock and roll classics.

Weinberg, best known for his decades behind the drum kit with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and as bandleader for Conan O’Brien’s NBC late night shows, ‘borrowed’ members of New Jersey’s “Weeklings” Beatles cover band to fill out the sound and deliver nearly 2 hours of fun.

The concept of the jukebox show is simple but unique. There’s a screen behind the band that scrolls through the titles of many, many rock and roll classics, and every 4 songs or so Weinberg descends from his drums and takes requests from the crowd.

photo by Doug MacGunnigle

Most of the material played at the Odeum Thursday was unsurprisingly from the 1960’s and 1970’s and would be right at home on oldies radio – the most obscure song played was “Open My Eyes” by Todd Rundgren’s first band the Nazz, and the most recent song played was the finale, Springsteen’s “Glory Days.” From the 70’s ‘new wave’ he played some songs by Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick, and the Ramones, but the requests mostly stuck to music from the 60’s.

Weinberg’s performance could best be described as ‘joyous-‘ he appeared happy to be there and seemed to genuinely enjoy interacting with the crowd, as folks yelled out requests for their favorite Beatles, Tom Petty, Eagles, and Kinks songs.

One request that was granted but not on the scrolling set list was Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds,’ which took the band only a few moments to figure out a stripped down arrangement of. Weinberg called the impressive display “making the sausage.”

Also impressive were Weinberg’s drumming chops throughout the night – Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times” and Springsteen’s “She’s the One” saw the 68-year-old Weinberg beating the skins with the intensity of a man 45 years his junior. The other players of his band were equally impressive, taking each request in stride and only pausing to retune or quickly discuss an arrangement.

This show was a lot of fun – if it comes near you I’d certainly recommend checking it out for a night of well played, familiar rock and roll. The Odeum is fast proving to be one of the premier live music venues in Rhode Island.

SETLIST:

A Hard Day’s Night (The Beatles cover)
You Really Got Me (The Kinks cover)
Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison cover)
Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash cover)
Take It Easy (Eagles cover)
Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin cover)
She’s the One (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Taxman (The Beatles cover)
The Kids Are Alright (The Who cover)
Pump It Up (Elvis Costello cover)
Daydream Believer (Monkees cover)
Open My Eyes (Nazz cover)
Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young & Crazy Horse cover)
Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry cover)
Surrender (Cheap Trick cover)
Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley cover)
American Girl (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
Wipe Out (The Surfaris cover)
I Wanna Be Sedated (Ramones cover)
Lola (The Kinks cover)
The Weight (The Band cover)
Glory Days (Bruce Springsteen cover)

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