Hitting the Jackpot with The Yardbirds

August 11th, 2017 by The Professor


The Yardbirds mark their premiere appearance in Atlantic City

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

Formed in London in 1963, The Yardbirds finally debuted in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Friday, July 7, 2017, among the assorted characters who gamble their fortunes on the turn of a card. The talented musicians appeared at the Resorts Superstar Theater anchored by original drummer Jim McCarty who is the last founding member of The Yardbirds.

Membership in The Yardbirds had changed during their formative years and this seems to be a recurring theme within the gents that McCarty assembled to form this new tour. The current entourage features Johnny Ace on lead guitar, Kenny Aronson on bass, Myke Scavone on harmonica, and John Idan on lead vocals and rhythm guitar whose stealthy stage steps on stage create a sense of impending immediacy.

The repertoire of The Yardbirds has always been a mixed set highlighting rhythm and blues, high octane psychedelic rock, and accelerated power pop. The setlist could use a swift kick in the arsenal to switch things up to offer more variety but overall, McCarty remains true to the original thrust of the lads that use to haunt The Crawdaddy with their residency in Richmond now more than a half century past.

None of the tunes from Birdland, their 2003 reunion album, were played live. Those modern Yardbirds numbers are decent and deserve their playtime on stage before an appreciative audience, McCarty sang “Back Where I Started” a 1984 Box of Frogs title he composed for an earlier reunion project that showcased both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on lead guitar.

There are those who prefer to scoff at this seasoned group of roving musicians who tour as The Yardbirds, but why not just close your eyes and listen to the band on stage. McCarty has been astute in recreating their signature volatile live sound that audiences react to in an overwhelming manner. Names and faces may change, but the classic rave up continues to excite Yardbirds fans.

Several of the new incarnations of The Yardbirds have released live DVDs and CDs. The question remains whether of not The Yardbirds will complete and issue a new album of studio material. McCarty has acknowledged that the band has been rehearsing in the studio, but no fixed date has been announced when Yardbirds fans might get a new commercial album.

Atlantic City set list: Heart Full Of Soul * Drinking Muddy Water * I’m Not Talking * The Nazz Are Blue * You’re A Better Man Than I * I Ain’t Got You * Little Games * Shapes Of Things * New York City Blues * Back Where I Started * Evil Hearted You * Lost Woman * Over Under Sideways Down * Smoke Stack Lightning * For Your Love * Happenings Ten Years Ago * Dazed And Confused * Encore: The Train Kept A Rollin’ * I’m A Man




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