December 20, 2013
Newberry Opera House
Concert Review by Joseph Hett
Eddie Money Brought Paradise to Newberry
Eddie Money brought his upbeat, blue collar rock and roll to Newberry, SC on Friday night at the Newberry Opera House. It was billed as an “Intimate Unplugged” show, which featured acoustic arrangements. Money was accompanied by lead guitarist Tommy Girvin, Chris Grove on piano and Glenn Symmonds on rhythm guitar with foot drums.
Money said to MRM before the show, “Well, I’ll tell you, Newberry is a great little rock and roll town. I can’t believe the people have been very, very nice to me. And I was jaywalking, and the cop didn’t give me a ticket. I took out a picture of me when I used to be a cop. So, that was good. My grandfather and dad were cops. But, we’ve been having a wonderful time. The cooking was like homemade mashed potatoes and really nice chicken with green beans. I felt like I was back at my mother-in-law’s house, she’s a Kentucky girl. But, Newberry is a beautiful little town, and this is a fantastic place to play. This opera house is just gorgeous. And I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy holiday. Remember to keep Christ in Christmas. And say a prayer for our men and women in uniform over there in Afghanistan.”
The show had a storyteller setup, where Money would talk about writing the songs and tell jokes too. He featured his radio hits and some deeper cuts.
Money came out to a standing ovation and welcomed everyone to the show. He was full of energy and ready to rock and roll. They began to play “My Friends, My Friends,” from 1982’s “No Control” album.
Money featured his signature Christmas song “Everybody Loves Christmas,” since the holiday is right around the corner, and the opera house was decorated for the occasion.
They then went into “The Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore,” a song that Money said is featured in a play that he is developing for his autobiographical Broadway production.
He mentioned that “Baby Hold On” was his first big hit, and they performed that tune. The audience clapped their hands in unison to the rhythm of the song.
Money said that people would ask him, “Did you have a girlfriend in high school named Maureen?” And Money would say, “No.” And they’d ask, “Then why did you write the song ‘Maureen?’” Money would say, “Well, I can tell you the truth. It rhymed with dream.” Money then pulled out his harmonica and began “Maureen.”
An emotional song was featured by the Money Man next, “One More Soldier Coming Home.” It is his newest song and helps raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which is a nonprofit, charitable organization. The song is about the men and women of the armed services and the sacrifice they make.
He pulled out his saxophone for the first time with “Trinidad.” Throughout the song, he directed the audience to close their eyes and imagine if they were in paradise.
It was time for the classic “I Wanna Go Back” and was followed by band introductions. He played a couple of songs from 1979, “Life For The Taking” and the western themed song about stealing horses, “Gimme Some Water.”
He ended the set leaning heavy on the radio hits. He sang “Take Me Home Tonight,” while the audience sang the Ronnie Spector parts. He didn’t play the saxophone like in the original recording though. The classic “Think I’m In Love” was next and sounded great.
During “Two Tickets To Paradise,” Money walked down the steps and slowly paced along the isles while singing in the middle of the audience.
Money left the stage, and the crowd started an “Eddie” chant. Money came back out and thanked everyone. He then played “Shakin,’” and the band and him bowed to a standing ovation and exited the stage.
Money brought his A-game and put on a splendid performance in Newberry. He was in great shape and exhibited a lot of energy while on stage. He played all of his hits except for “Walk On Water.” His jokes were also entertaining and mainly focused on his family. The acoustic setup made the show feel more intimate in the small opera house. It was also interesting to hear the back stories of certain songs. The Newberry Opera House is starting to diversify their acts a little more, and it’s great when they bring in performers the caliber of Eddie Money.