Little River Band Orlando Concert Review
Let’s start with a confession: I saw this band at a free show five years ago and felt like I was ripped off. They were boring, seemed passionless and the sound mix was a mess. I was expecting the same this night, but oh my, how wrong I was! Simply put, these guys put on a great show in every sense of the word.
Longtime member, Wayne Nelson is the heart and soul of the band. He’s played bass and shared lead vocals for the band for decades, and is a comfortable, gregarious front man. The remainder of the players have been together for awhile and play extremely well off of each other. Guitarist Greg Hind shares lead vocals on a handful of songs and fills in admirably for original lead singer Glenn Shorrock. The musical highlight of the night was lead guitarist Richard Herring, who nailed numerous pristine solos and entertained the entire show.
Nelson seemed energized by the Hard Rock audience and interacted with the welcoming crowd throughout the entire ninety minute show. He was friendly and witty and made the already comfortable environment feel like a neighborhood get-together from the minute he hit the stage with “I love this Velvet Sessions venue.” He highlighted his humorous side when he introduced “Happy Anniversary” with, “If you’ve been in a grocery store or the dentist’s office anytime in the last twenty years, you know this next song.”
The stories and descriptions of the songs were captivating and made the show even more memorable, but the true focus of the night was the crisp performance of the band’s robust catalog. At one point, Nelson offered “This is your party, we’re just the band,” and the party was on. Highlights from the set included popular hits “Take It Easy on Me,” “The Other Guy” and “Help Is on Its Way” (see the full setlist below). I was also impressed by the two new cuts offered from their forthcoming album “The Lost and Lonely” and “My Own Man.” (Before you jump down my throat about using the wrong titles, I did not have the official setlist and guessed at the song names.)
For me the highlight of the set was a killer version of “Cool Change,” which kicked off with a fantastic keyboard/piano solo from Chris Marion and evolved into a full crowd participation event. Fun stuff…
As he sipped from his Perrier bottle, Nelson toasted the Florida rock music fans, who back in 1976 were the first Americans to welcome the Australians in Little River Band (today, Hind is the only Aussie in the line-up). The band then kicked into a nice extended instrumental introduction to “Lady.” After taking their bow, the quintet returned for a fun singalong encore of “Lonesone Loser,” but only after Nelson took a slew of crowd photos from the stage (which you can see here on their Facebook page).
It was a fun end to an excellent night of classic rock and roll, and one of those times I was happy to eat a little crow. Definitely a band that I would highly recommend in the future. (Check out their Greatest Hits and the show setlist at the end of the review).
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It’s a Long Way There
Man on Your Mind
Take It Easy on Me
The Other Guy
The Lost and Lonely (new)
My Own Man (new)
Help Is on It’s Way
The Night Owls
Playing to Win