Southside Johnny Hits Stowe VT

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center
Stowe VT February 11, 2012
Review and photos by Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

With no opening act, Southside took the stage just a little past 8 pm and played for just about two hours. The show wasn't sold out but was pretty darn full with a lot of folks in the crowd speaking with New York and New Jersey accents.

A few songs in Southside appeared somewhat confused, grabbed the setlist, looked it over then tore it up. We knew the fun was about to begin. Not often does he follow a setlist but this is the first time we've seen him tear it up. It usually causes some minor confusion among band members but being the professionals they are, you don't really notice the "audibles."

With one exception at this show, John Isley, in only his second night on Sax with the newly revamped horn section did seem a little lost after the setlist was torn up by Southside, however he did a great job with a little help from Chris Anderson.

Isley joined The Jukes after Ed Manion joined the E-Street band for Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball Tour. According to an interview given by Southside to The Record “He’s stealing my saxophone players to replace Clarence (Clemons, who passed away last year), so we steal from each other’s bands occasionally.”

Southside paid tribute to his former roommate (1967or 68) and song writing partner, "Miami Steve", "Little Steven", Steve Van Zandt by playing a double shot of "Angel Eyes and "Forever" off the critically acclaimed Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul "Men Without Women." At the end Southside said "God Bless Steve Van Zandt!" (in a related article please read:
Rock and Roll Forever Foundation...Keep Kids in School

Southside told tales of driving the back roads of Vermont from Montpelier to Stowe, without cell service and how Vermont was going to get hit with a ton of snow in March. He also asked the crowd if anyone had a ski pass they could give to the trumpet player (Chris Anderson) "We're trying to get rid of him too" said Southside.

During "Talk To Me" he spoke about a hard day skiing and hanging in the ski lodge meeting up with a young ski bunny "and she's 20 years younger than you and she looks better than any girls you've ever gone out with including the four you married...". Then he tried to get the crowd to sing the chorus with him...

He closed the show with a new song "Umbrella in My Drink" and called Tom Rowell, the Spruce Peak Productions and Operations Manager on stage with his tuba.

Seeing Southside in such a comfortable, acoustically perfect setting makes me hate the Hampton Beach Casino even more, we are often forced to see Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes there because they aren't booked anywhere nearby. 

I'm also left wondering why a band with such talent is playing small venues when the likes of other no-talent folks are selling out arenas.

The Band: 

Southside Johnny

  Jeff Kazee, Keyboards

John Conte, Bass

Glenn Alexander, Guitar

   Tom Seguso, Drums

John Isley, Tenor and Baritone Sax

Chris Anderson, Trumpet and Flugelhorn

Neal Pawley, Trombone and guitar

Tom Rowell, Spruce Peak Productions and Operations Manager on Tuba

I Played the Fool 
Love on the Wrong Side of Town 
Lead Me On 
Gin Soaked Boy 
Talk to Me/Twist and Shout 
Harder Than It Looks 
Woke up This Morning 
Angel Eyes/Forever 
Into the Harbour 
Walk away Renee 
Tango till They're Sore (Intro only) 
Tuba Blues Improv 
Without Love 
Shake 'em Down 
All Down the Line (sung by Jeff Kazee) 
The Fever 
It's Been a Long Time 
I Don't Want to Go Home 
One More Night to Rock 


Umbrella in My Drink  (with Tom Rowell on Tuba)

Band Lineup 
Southside Johnny, vocals and harmonica 
Jeff Kazee, keyboards 
John Conte, bass 
Tom Seguso, drums 
Glenn Alexander, guitar 
John Isley, tenor and baritone sax 
Chris Anderson, trumpet and flugelhorn 
Neal Pawley, trombone and acoustic guitar 

Spruce Peak is a beautiful venue. Stowe has done a very tasteful job (in my opinion) developing the area. It's worth a look if you're up this way. 

Vermont is sure pretty in the snow, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to Florida next weekend. On The Beach!!! 

-- Carol (Thanks Carol)

This was our second show at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe Vermont, and it won't be our last. The theater has fantastic acoustics and very comfy seats. And for a photographer, the lighting crew does an outstanding job!

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