You’re going to get it all when you see a Jake Clemons show.
Jake Clemons at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, Friday, June 23.
Heartbreak, loss, hope, redemption — all brought together in the collective spirit of rock n roll. In this way he’s much like his Boss, Bruce Springsteen, whose concerts also follow a narrative that encompasses the highs and lows of life.
Clemons, the nephew of the late Clarence Clemons, has learned well. He’s been playing saxophone in the E Street Band for four years and he’s picked up a thing or two on how to present a show. That is, go bold — tell a big story.
That’s what Clemons did on Friday, June 23 at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park. He started with a gentle acoustic version of “You’re a Friend of Mine,” a hit for his uncle more than 30 years ago.
Sunday, June 18 was the 6th anniversary of Clarence Clemons’ passing.
“Hold Tight,” a taut rocker with a killer hook from his new album, “Fear & Love,” suggested an impending storm and “Janine,” a recent Clemons single, was preceded by an anti-domestic abuse message. Clemons later bemoaned the disconnect in a world where electronics seemingly should bring us closer together.
Yet, Clemons was well aware that this was a Friday night at a sold out bar on the Jersey Shore. That means it’s party time.
He played the keyboards for a riff — in addition to playing guitar and sax with his four piece band. He also jumped onto the audience for “You Must Be Crazy.” A soulful Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help from My Friends” lit the crowd and a version of the Rascals’ “Good Lovin’“ found him back in the audience, back in the audience’s arms.
“I wanted to give you a little hope tonight” Clemons said. “The world is a crazy place “
Rock ‘n’ roll can be redemptive like that.
Chris Jordan: firstname.lastname@example.org