The Rides | NYCB Theatre Gig Review | 9-8-13

The Rides, blues supergroup featuring Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg, brought their inaugural tour to Long Island, NY for one hell of a show on September 8th.

Enter an aroma saturated in nostalgia, with a hint of Mary Jane. As the band took the reins, one could sense the legendary presence they exuded, all eyes center stage. Complete with hips cracking and feet tapping, the seasoned crowd was transfixed upon Stills, musical icon of the Woodstock days. Ah, the good old days. As Stills put it, he and Goldberg were the ‘senior citizens’ of the band.

The band got right down to business, rollicking into their new material and tasteful tributes. Stills is featured on many of the tracks on their debut album. With a raspy bellow, he proves he can still belt it out, keeping up with his counterpart, Kenny Wayne, across the stage. Kicking things off with “Born in Chicago,” Stills and Goldberg pay homage to the classic blues rockumentary.

After a few new tracks with Stills on the mic, they switch gears to the searing swoon of Kenny Wayne on the classic Stooges’ track, “Search and Destroy.” This one really greased those replacement hips. Kenny remained the lead on a Muddy Waters tribute, “Honey Bee,” also featured on the new album. This gave way to a time warp back to the ‘60s, when Stills broke out what he describes as ‘that song that follows you throughout your career.’ If the Stooges’ didn’t get the crowd going, this one surely did. Everyone got up and grooved along to “Love The One You’re With.” Kenny then took back the mic for one out of his catalog, as the band did a stellar bluesy rendition of “Blue on Black.”

From there, we delve back into Stills’ timeless resume. “Word Game,” a previously unreleased song he wrote back in the ‘60s, is a fitting slot on the new album. It’s distinct ties to that ‘60s sound is evident, sending us back to the days of old.

The Rides left, only to return for the encore everyone had been waiting for. Mixing in the Woodstock smash hit, “For What It’s Worth, ”and long time collaborator Neil Young’s classic, “Rockin’ In The Free World,” the set was hearty enough to feed most any fan of the lot. What a joy to see such legends still rocking.

– Don Tice

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