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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

The Yardbirds

Live in Portland, Oregon, August 2012

Review by Larry Toering

I have to hand it to the Yardbirds for doing what they do, because it takes a lot of guts to put on such an authentic showing with only one remaining original member in the band. They actually have two but one couldn't be there due to a current illness. But drummer Jim McCarty and these new guys really did put on a great show, and one that sounded like nothing but the original Yardbirds, but also clearly showcased modern musical prowess at the same time. It's like some kind of magic how they pull this off, really. I was impressed by the whole thing to say the least, and so was the healthy sized crowd who showed them great respect.

The singer only learned how to blow a harp four years ago when he joined the band, and he's come a long way since. The guy makes them sound so much like the real thing it isn't some kind of tribute show. You really get the roots vibe of it all, as it's recreated without sounding like they're trying. When you hear them it's definitely The Yardbirds sound. The guitar sound is mostly in the Jeff Beck vein, and the guy is smoking hot. It couldn't be done better than this, as it all went down way better than I expected because of such odds. They sound great on record but even better live, so that is why I was so surprised.

Larry Toering
Larry Toering

They didn't play one song I didn't know, and that is just more than anyone can ask for right there. But the highlight of the show, of course, was when McCarty got to go all out and put on what is one of the best drum solos I've seen in recent years. It was truly remarkable. We're not talking about long-winded three piece solos. He was modern, intricate, loud and tribal. Crisp, fresh and clean, it was that good! I am so glad I got to see that, as I am a fan of his, and not just his drumming. He is a fine musician in his own right. This made for a night I won't be forgetting.

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Larry Toering
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 5 at
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