The crowd demographic was decidedly baby-boomer, but that is to be expected from a band that released its first album in the late '60s. The composition of NRBQ has changed over the years so much that there is only one original member left in the group, Terry Adams. Last night's performers were Conrad Choucroun on drums, Casey McDonough on Bass, Scott Ligon on guitar and Terry on keys.
NRBQ is one of those bands that is made to be seen live. Crowd interaction and improvisation were both noteworthy during the show last night. With a seemingly endless catalog of originals to choose from, there was no set list for the evening. Terry controlled the selection, taking suggestions from the crowd, which at one point elicited a doo-wop a cappella rendition of "Umbrella." Vocals were split between all members of the group, but Terry and Scott handled the lion's share.
McDonough, having only been with NRBQ since September, commented that practice sessions for the group were few and far between. In fact, the members of the group are spread across the United States from Chicago to Massachusetts to Texas. Before the Off Broadway show the group hadn't been in the same room for three weeks. That being said, you would be hard-pressed to find a flaw in the group's performance. The group admits that there is a lot of improv and liberties taken during a show, more comparable to a jazz group, but it all blends together for a great evening out listening to a fun potpourri of American rock, pop and blues all smashed together. NRBQ will play a private event tonight in St. Louis before heading to Chicago for a Friday night show.
All photos by Sam Africano.