rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 05/10/2004
Lang Gives Rockford the Blues
by Luke LeFevre
When the lights went down at the Coronado, after 95.3's Rich Gordon told the crowd they were all making rock and roll history by filming Jonny's fist live dvd, the stage was set with a single spotlight and a man with a guitar. The 23 year old Lang started the show alone with the final track off his debut album with the same name, "Long Time Coming". This song is a blatant homage to the blues greats of the past 70 years, and Lang accentuated the veneration by having a single snare drum set up just behind him to tap out a beat under his ferocious finger picking. As the song progressed and came to a close the crowd erupted in applause, and rightfully so, this kid is the real deal.

The band then joined in for "Get What you Give" and "If We Try", both of which are off the latest album, and have a more pop feel to them, and the show was off to a fiery start. As the show progressed, the crowd seemed to get more comfortable and some women got up on the stage, but were escorted off before Lang even noticed. Others were waving banners stating that they loved him. Rockford has been good to Lang in the past and is probably one of the reasons he comes back and also, along with the beauty of the Coronado, made him to decide to film the dvd here. Rockford is a town that loves the blues and straight-up rock and roll, so when Lang slid into some slower blues guitar tracks the crowd loved it.

Once Lang hit these types of songs one realizes that there are really two faces to his music. There is the pure blues side and there is the pure pop side. Lang is capable of doing both and doing both well, but where he really shines is when he combines the thickness of the blues, with his pop instincts and creates songs like "Wander this World" and "Look Out My Window" which were the highlights of the evening, leading into Stevie Wonders "Livin' for the City" which had the crowd going into a frenzy with Lang and the saxophone player dueling for the spotlight to end the first set.

Lang and company then returned with "Red Light", one of the standout tracks from "Long Time Coming", and ended the show with a rollicking "Lie To Me", the first hit of his career at the age of 16, which boosted him into the mainstream and closed the night off nicely.

Jonny Lang and his bandmates then took a bow and exited the stage, leaving an indelible mark on the Coronado and all present. This was a great show, a solid show by a young man with undeniable talent that is hopefully just at the beginning of a long career.
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