Where the Bands Are (Max Weinberg’s Jukebox, 18 July, 2019)

The concept is this: A menu of 200 familiar classic rock songs scroll constantly on the giant video screen behind the stage. Occasionally, Max Weinberg walks out into the crowd and take a batch of requests from audience members, who stand and shout out their picks, and the band play them – creating an interactive set list.

At half past eight on July 18th Max Weinberg appeared alone on stage in the venue Paradiso, Amsterdam, to explain the concept of the show in Dutch (!) A brave attempt but, judging from the audience’s reaction, his speech was almost incomprehensible, probably due to his poor pronunciation. (Dutch seems impossible to pronounce 😳).

After the introduction Weinberg presented the rest of the show’s musicians– three-fourths of the band Weeklings: Glen Burtnik (bass and vocals), Bob Burger (guitar and vocals) and John Merjave (guitar and vocals).

Give me the beat boys and free my soul I wanna get lost in your rock ‘n’ roll and drift away

They started playing White Room and Fortunate Son before Weinberg made his first round collecting requests. “There seem to be a lot of Bruce Springsteen fans here tonight” he remarked generating a loud cheer. Accordingly, two of the three first songs they played were Springsteen related songs; She’s the One, written by Springsteen and Drift Away, covered by Springsteen but originally written by Mentor Williams (and made famous by Dobie Gray).

The Paradiso, a converted former church building from the 19th century with high ceilings and two balcony rings overlooking the stage area, is a wonderful venue and although is wasn’t full, the band made their best to create a party with those present. “The party” consisted of a great mix of rock songs performed by a reasonable good cover band, including songs like for example Rebel Rebel (Bowie), Walk the Line (Johnny Cash) and Start Me Up (The Rolling Stones) and four Springsteen covers.

A crowd favourite was the set closer Glory Days (Springsteen), where the audience were invited to join the band on stage for backing vocals. Norbert Frijns from the cover band Bruce Brothers saw his chance and grabbed the mic for the lead vocals.

For me the day wasn’t only the show, but also a chance to discover Amsterdam (Netherlands travel story coming soon) and to meet up with Springsteen fans from the Dutch/German fan community, including Jetske and Eelco Klomp (mybosstime), Rene Van Diemen (photographer for Backstreets), Werner Haupt (@Jungleland67)
and long time Twitter friend Jennifer Driessen (@silverwyvern99).

Jennifer Driessen (to the right) and I

Setlist (with courtesy of betrue.nl)

White Room / Fortunate Son / Rebel Rebel / She’s the One / Drift Away / Lola / Night Moves / Open My Eyes / Anything At All / Anything at All / Mother’s Little Helper / Rocky Mountain Way / I Walk the Line / Tenth Avenue Freeze-out / Start Me Up / All Right Now / Helplessly Hoping / Good Times Bad Times / Take It Easy / American Girl / Cinnamon Girl / I Can See For Miles / Thunder Road / Glory Days

6 thoughts on “Where the Bands Are (Max Weinberg’s Jukebox, 18 July, 2019)

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    1. The best part of Max’s concert was being able to speak with him at great length afterwards. I learned a few things including Max’s favourite movie being The Godfather and the importance of The River sessions to prove himself to Bruce. There was a bit of tension in the studio during the summer of 1979 regarding Max’s “malaise” as a drummer; Bruce had a word with Max about his overall efforts, and Max responded with a spirited performance for “Be True.” Max was also kind enough to recall Bruce’s request for the drum pattern for “Roulette” after a sugar high from Bruce consuming a copious amount of Push-up Pops. I am still not certain about the reasons for Max’s relocation from New Jersey to Floriduh, but Max was also the band member who invited conservative columnist George Will instead of prophetic sage/brilliant comedian George Carlin to Bruce’s concert and backstage area during August of 1984. 😳🥁

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