So many changes have the Little River Band gone through. Like a handful of other vocal and classic rock groups of the 50s, 60s & 70s, the current lineup has not one original member. Thankfully, singer/bassist Wayne Nelson, who except for a three year stint away in the late 90s, has been there since 1980 supplying their lone tie to the classic days of yore. Wayne, who was lead singer on their 1981 hit Night Owls and co-lead on that same year's Take it Easy on Me, is now the group's main vocalist and handles the majority of the leads. And the harmony vocals, while very good, don't quite come close to touching the LRB's classic years vocal triumvirate of Glenn Shorrock, Beeb Birtles and Graeham Goble.
But unfortunately, all former members of LRB signed off on their rights to the band's moniker years ago and it is now solely owned by guitarist Stephen Housden, who has recently quit touring with the group himself to work on other projects.
Current keyboardist/vocalist Chris Marion told me after the show that he and the entire band are now based out of Nashville and it's much more convenient to have everyone in one spot rather than have Housden commute from his home in County Cork, Ireland. Yes, the formerly all Australian band is now comprised of four Americans and a token Aussie(guitarist Greg Hind).
Tonight's opening spot was filled by blues rock trio The Scott Weiss Band and they were quite good. Surprisingly, Scott played an acoustic guitar instead of trying to melt our ears off with a loud volume electric, as many blues rockers choose to do. I thought this approach was alot more suitable for the size of this theater.
Little River Band were actually playing 2 shows this evening, one at 6 and the other at 9:00. Unfortunately, this meant a shorter than usual set(about 67 minutes) that was mostly no nonsense "get right to the hits."
Believe it or not, some nimrod in the audience STILL was not satisfied and at one point called out, "Could you play ANOTHER song we know"? Wayne was a bit gobsmacked at the guy's rudeness and said, "Well, we've got a list of them all up here. I'll just play the next one.." Later the guy actually yelled the same thing out again. This time Wayne just smiled and said "Shut up.." The smile was supposed to mean he was kidding but I'm sure he was a bit puzzled at this person's attitude. As if the guy had come expecting to hear only the two or three he knew.
Another thing I miss about LRB's early days is the ringing three guitar interplay. But current guitarists Rich Herring and Greg Hind did a cool duet jam at the end of Cool Change that hearkened back to the classic days and sounded very LRBish.
They opened with their very first hit It's a Long Way There, as they have on most of their tours, and Wayne informed us to sing only the chorus of Happy Anniversary if we were there with our loved ones..."But if you're divorced, SING THE WHOLE DAMN THING"! He laughed. Help is on its Way was dedicated to our soldiers overseas and Wayne cued up Cool Change, only to jump into the country standard Neverending Love For You, partly in defiance of the "Play Another Song We Know Guy". He quit after one verse and started into Cool Change after laughing.
"Do you recall your prom? No? How about the backseat of your prom? Remember your 8-track players? You still have yours? Sorry sir, you have to move on...CDs are the thing now...." Wayne was setting us all up for the next song, Lonesome Loser.
The one new offering of the evening was a song called The Outback, sung by guitarist Greg Hind, which was on their new EP that they had on sale in the lobby. I would've liked to have heard some other of their more recent songs sung by Wayne & Greg. But of course, there wasn't time.
At the end of Lonesome Loser Wayne explained, "We're not going anywhere and make you scream and yell for us to come back. We're staying right here to finish the set." The band then went into their 1979 hit Lady.
Despite all the changes in personnel, it's still great to see them in concert. This is the first time they've been back to our area in nine years.
It's a Long Way There
Man on Your Mind
Take it Easy on Me
Help Is On It's Way
The Night Owls
Wayne Nelson(vocals, bass)
Greg Hind(vocals, guitars)
Chris Marion(vocals, keyboards)
Rich Herring(guitars, backing vocals)
Mel Watts(drums, percussion)
Last edited by jimmy19029
on Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:52 am, edited 4 times in total.