Eddie Money, the former New York policeman-turned-rock-star, put on quite an extraordinary show at the Bayou last night, before a capacity crowd that couldn't get enough of him.
For many his performance -- a solid hour of propulsive rhythm and blues -- was proof positive that his albums merely suggest the kind of presense he has on stage. He moved relentlessly from his early hits, laced with concise and pointed guitar fills by Jimmy Lyons to newer tunes like the reggae-flavored "Running Back," which focused on the subtle relationship between drummer Dave Danza and keyboardist Randy Nichols. When Money launched into "Rock Star," with his raspy, powerful voice at its peak, he literally pulled the crowd out of their seats for the rest of the evening.
Ellen Shipley, who opened the show, was often entertaining, although she tends to equate theatrics with emotion. At times she seemed more impressed with her role as a descendant of the female rock tradition (the Shirelles, Crystals, Ronnettes, et al.) than with making any real mark of her own. Still, she did justice to her street-wise predecessors and found sufficient inspiration in their recordings to allow her own songs to ring occasionally with a brassy, confident tone.