Eddie Money, John Waite haul out their hits
Eddie Money works the stage during his Penn's Peak concert Friday night. JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS
A pair of classic rock singers served up their hits in contrasting styles Friday night at Penn's Peak.
Eddie Money pulled out all the stops, with a brightly lit stage, a huge banner with his name logo and a full band.
Meanwhile, special guest John Waite performed on a dimly lit stage with spare accompaniment, providing acoustic versions of his songs.
Both were effective in their own way at The Peak, in a show presented by WLEV.
Money, who came out on stage wearing a jacket and tie, had a full rock'n'roll party in mind as he opened with "Two Tickets to Paradise." His trademark raspy voice is still capable of rocking out as well as turning soulful when needed.
It's easy to forget just how many hits Money has racked up over the years. At times, he seemed to be rushing through some of them in order to get to the next one, although that tactic didn't hurt, as it kept the crowd on its toes.
Money also enjoys the chance to clown around a bit on stage, as he delivered some humorous asides and one-liners, all with his good natured demeanor and a smile. He joked about buying his wife an overpriced T-shirt at a Rolling Stones concert, then segued into hawking some of his own.
The band, which included guitarist Tommy Girvin, bassist Lee Beverly, keyboardist Chris Grove and drummer Glenn Symmonds, rolled with the punches and was up to the task of keeping up with the MoneyMan.
Eddie also played saxophone, which added to the funky "Trinidad" and wistful rocker "I Wanna Go Back", and hauled out the harmonica for the ballad "My Friends My Friends."
Eddie turned serious for a moment when he presented his latest single, "One More Soldier Coming Home," a touching number which he dedicated to the families of American military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said he plans to use the proceeds from the single to benefit those families.
Eddie's biggest hit, "Take Me Home Tonight," had the ladies in the audience singing along on the Ronnie Spector "Be My Little Baby" part.
While the show included plenty of Top 40 hits ("Endless Nights," "We Should Be Sleeping," "Think I'm in Love," "Baby Hold On," "Walk on Water"), he also dug a little deeper into his album repertoire for "Get a Move On," "Gimme Some Water," "The Wish," "The Big Crash," and "No Control." Long-time fans were rewarded when he pulled out the rollicking "Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star" from his 1977 debut.
Eddie kept working hard throughout the show, taking off the jacket and sweating through his shirt.
It is hard not to like him, so there was truth to his comment that "Eddie Money doesn't have fans. Eddie Money has friends."
Opening the evening, John Waite provided an overview of his career with songs from his two bands, The Babys and Bad English, as well as solo tunes.
Waite maintains his strong, penetrating voice, which is perfect for the dramatic flourishes in his songs.
Accompanied by acoustic guitar and bass, the songs were stripped of the studio embellishments that often carried them, especially with The Babys, but if anything, Waite's passionate singing made them more powerful, particularly with "Isn't It Time," "Back on My Feet Again," "Head First" and "Midnight Rendevzous."
Waite has scored two number one hits in his career, both with ballads, and he delivered solid renditions of both: "Missing You" and Bad English's "When I See You Smile."
Waite also mined his solo material, opening with the underrated single "Change" and also offering "In Dreams", plus two songs from his 1997 album "When You Were Mine": "Sucide Life" and "Blue Bird Cafe."
Waite also played one song ("Whenever You Come Around") from his latest album, "Figure in a Landscape."
Both rockers proved to have plenty of life at this point in the game, so here's hoping they keep on playing for awhile.