Wednesday, January 3, 2018

NRBQ: The Happiest Place On Earth

I could spend a few hours making a list of all the bands I would not bother to see live on a beautiful summer night. But nothing stops me from seeing NRBQ play live, not even a brutally frigid night, just two days after New Year's Eve. It's 100% satisfaction every time and last night was no different.

This might be sacrilege to some, but the current lineup of The Q featuring Casey McDonough on bass and vocals, Scott Ligon on guitar and vocals and John Perrin on drums and vocals rivals anything that Terry Adams has ever had behind him. Last night's 145 minute marathon felt like a classic Q show from the 70's, covering every base the band has run across in their over 50 year career. Deep cuts and fan favorites like "Ain't It All Right," "Little Floater," "A Girl Like That," and "Never Take The Place Of You," alongside covers like Bill Deal and the Rhondells "I've Been Hurt," Lonnie Mack's "Wham," an absolutely gorgeous"You Send Me" and Shirley & Lee's "Feel So Good," all played with the precision of a jazz quartet, the looseness of a garage band and the finesse of a finely tuned pop band.

I was hoping to post the actual setlist but it hasn't appeared as of yet on the net, and my memory just won't work that hard. I did notice that the band had covered the "Pet Sounds" classic "Here Today" a few nights ago in Harrisburg, PA. Damn! Sorry I missed that, but I did get to see "Don't Worry Baby" back in June, which is posted below. The fact that NRBQ had the balls to even attempt it, and so many other gems for all these years, is the main reason I will never give up on these guys.

Do yourself a favor. If NRBQ comes to your town and you've never bothered to see them, please just see them. If you love music, it will change your life.


Ken D said...

Damn... I didn't know this show was happening. I guess I never pay attention to the BB King's club. I mean, Times Square? Serves me right, being so snooty.
I've yet to see this incarnation of the Q live but your post makes me want to even more. My memories of Q shows at the Bottom Line, Tramps, and the Lone Star Roadhouse are some of the best nights of music in my life...

whattawino said...

Damn, Sal...If I hadn't had to work last night, I'd have been there bouncing to the "Q" too! Absolutely LOVE this band! Couldn't think of a better way to start the year off. Happy on ya!

Anonymous said...

I thought NRBQ broke up around 2002. I don't recognize any of the names except Terry Adams. He's calling his band NRBQ? He ought to be ashamed. But I guess he has no shame. Sad

Sal Nunziato said...

What’s sad, aside from your cowardice, is that you comment as some fan and yet you had no idea Terry and HIS band NRBQ have been making music the last 15 years. Just because you don’t recognize the names doesn’t make any of these brilliant musicians any less of a member than any previous members.

Scott Lee said...

Not my set list, Sal ... see NRBQ Appreciation Society on fb....

NRBQ at BB King's 1/2/18
Yes I Have A Banana
Everybody Say Yeah
Only the Lonely
My girl my girl
Two bass hit
All night long
Gone with the wind
Never take the place of you
Here I am
Natures gonna pay you back
When Things was cheap
Poor Jenny
You and I and George
Get rhythm
That's neat that's nice
Sunshine of my life
Tell me why(?) (ballad with Terry on vocals)
San Francisco holiday
Almond grove
Over your head
I've been hurt
Can't wait to kiss you
You send me
Imaginary radio
A girl like that
Yeh yeh
Rats in my room
It'll be alright
Little floater
It Feels so good
Howard Johnson's
Captain Lou (w/she loves you outro)
Honey hush
Stay with we
Wild weekend
Ain't it alright
Happy talk

Sal Nunziato said...

Thanks for this, Scott. "Tell Me Why" was an absolute stunner. It must be new, yes?

Scott Lee said...

Yeah Sal, I heard that one at the Annapolis NYE show and assume it's a TA composition. New? Maybe, or he might have written it 30 years ago. He is the most underrated songwriter ever.

BTW, they are doing a ripping live version of Terry's "It's Not Too Late", which appears on the High Noon collection, recorded with E. Kramer during the Workshop sessions. Here's hoping Scott's live version also gets a release some day.

Troy said...

That is an absolutely INSANE setlist! Glad you got such a great show, Sal (even though I know they are all great!)

A walk in the woods said...

LOVE me some NRBQ... would love to see them in 2018!

Multielvi said...

I am a bit late on this one. I stumbled upon this post while searching for something else Q related. The reason that they have been playing some Beach Boys songs is because Casey McDonough was recruited to fill in for Matt Jardine at some Brian Wilson shows in 2017. Apparently Matt had a family emergency and had to take a leave of absence. Someone (probably from Chicago) suggested Casey and he was flown in on a moment's notice to sing Matt's vocal parts, which included songs where Brian sang with his falsetto. If you search the tubes you can find a few clips with Casey. FYI.