Concert Review: Party in the Park w/Southside Johnny


It's not like they're pickling their bodies in alcohol or making arrangements to join Walt Disney and Ted Williams in frozen limbo, but at this rate let me Jimmy the Greek it for ya: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes are gonna be here forever. If the fork in the road gives you a choice of either The E Street Band or The Asbury Jukes, juke it, baby. The road may be rougher and tougher, but there is still rock 'n' roll paradise to be found when you get there.

It's basically a barroom-rock outfit -- the soundtrack to come-ons, fist fights, and nine-ball. The band is relentless, as demonstrated Thursday night at the first dry night of the season for Party in the Park. Southside Johnny's vocals were a little ragged, but that just added more twist and torque to the gut wrench. It was a bit loud (I could hear it from Broad Street), but when it's good, loud is a plus.

The band's un-self-aware joy was illustrated by periodic jumping around -- not like ninjas or methodically cool rock 'n' roll stars with their screw face and gunfighter stance, but as 4-year-olds taking utter delight in the beat. An estimated 2,500 people or so braved the cool, rejoicing in the blue sky and the righteous blue-eyed soul.