Friday, June 20, 2014

NRBQ, Beachland Ballroom, June 19, 2014

This is the newest iteration of NRBQ with founder and keyboardist Terry Adams, guitarist Scott Ligon, bassist Casey McDonough and drummer Conrad Choucroun. I was skeptical, but other than Joey Spampinato's sweet voice, this version of the band lacks nothing up against the post-1994 line-up.

And they were a blast. The show's first hour was heavy on songs from their new release Brass Tacks, and based on this show, it might just be a fine record. The second half was a non-stop romp through the classic NRBQ songbook. Choucroun and McDonough laid down a sold rhythm, and Ligon knows his way around the Telecaster, and is a talented singer and songwriter. And then there's Terry Adams. He's crazy, funny, and a great showman. He's also the best rock and roll keyboard player on the planet. The guitar-like tone he gets from his clavinet and his jazz approach are like no one else. No one ever.

I'll always miss those awful Tommy Ardolino vocal appearances, rest his soul. I wasn't sure Adams should have revived the NRBQ name, but they do the legacy proud.

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