Eddie Money - vocals; Jimmy Lyon - lead guitar; Unknown - saxophone; Unknown - keyboards; Unknown - drums; Unknown - bass; Guest: Ronnie Montrose - guitar
At the peak of his powers, as 1977 turned into 1978, Eddie Money played the Cow Palace on New Year's Eve, preceded by Starwood and opening for fellow Bay Area bands Journey and Santana. Performing here with the Eddie Money Band, a cast of musicians who serve mostly to enhance Eddie's front man status, the group delivers an energetic and noteworthy performance.
With album rock surfacing like a tidal wave in the late '70s, Eddie Money was signed to Columbia Records and, under manager Bill Graham's tutelage, eagerly embraced by fans. Having left the New York Police Academy for California and the pursuit of rock 'n' roll stardom, Eddie and his backing cohorts seethe with the kind of superficial exuberance shared only by radio-friendly rockers who pride themselves on a life conspicuously filled with sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. Playing before a crowd of 2,000, Money exudes a raspy swagger and onstage energy that is largely glossed over on his studio albums.
Full of sax and keyboard flourishes that foreshadow the impending '80s, it's clear that this album rocker is at home on stage - and, in fact, revels in it. Eddie's vocals are clearly the defining part of the act. Of course, the Eddie Money hits are the highlights here, as are a few tunes only diehard fans will remember. Classic crowd pleasers like "You've Really Got A Hold On Me," "Baby Hold On" and "Two Tickets to Paradise" are exuberant reminders of Money in his prime, before his success - and various addictions - caught up to him. He ends the set with a bluesy, drawn out version of "Call On Me," complete with interspersed vocals and signature Top 40 trimmings.
For enthusiastic Money fans, this show will serve as a great opportunity to hear the artist performing live, with all of his charisma and skill; for others, if nothing else, it gives a at least glimpse into a distinctive, unique chapter in American tock history.