For some people “it’s only rock ’n roll,” but for fans of The Rolling Stones this Saturday, November 11, 2023 at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts “it’s a gas, gas, gas” being part of the sold-out crowd here for a concert by the Classic Stones Live tribute band featuring The Glimmer Twins.
The lights dim and the Classic Stones Live band — guitarist Michael Rubino, keyboardist Rocco Notte, bassist Tony Henry, drummer Bobby Corea, and sax/flute/keyboard/guitar player Bobby Michaels — take the stage. They begin to play “Under My Thumb” as The Glimmer Twins — Keith Call as the Stones’ lead vocalist Mick Jagger and Bernie Bollendorf as Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards — make their entrance.
After singing, “Under my thumb/The girl who once had me down/Under my thumb/The girl who once pushed me around,” Call gets the crowd clapping along as Bollendorf solos on electric guitar a la Keith Richards.
The crowd cheers, and Call — imitating Jagger’s English accent — exclaims, “All right, New Jersey!” as vocalist Valorie Steel joins the group on stage and the band sails into “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” Concertgoers move to the groove at their seats as Call shakes his body to the music.
Bobby Michaels is featured on sax on “Bitch” before Rocco Notte accompanies Call on keyboard on “Time is On My Side.” Music lovers applaud, and Call responds, “Thank you so much! We came to have a good time, and we’re gonna take you back to the 1960s” as he and his bandmates hop into The Stones’ 1968 Top 5 hit, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Audience members dance in the aisles, arms pumping to the beat, as they sing along to the song’s ubiquitous “Jumpin’ Jack Flash/It’s a gas, gas, gas” refrain while Call struts his stuff across the stage.
Stones fans hoot and holler as the band segues into “Gimme Shelter” where Valerie Steel is featured on vocals singing with feeling, style, and power on the number’s “War, children/It’s just a shot away/It’s just a shot away” refrain.
The crowd explodes, and Call replies, “We’re just getting started!” prior to announcing, “We’d like to do this next one from the album, Sticky Fingers” as he and the band segue into “Can You Hear Me Knocking.” On this funky rocker, Bobby Michaels plays sax and flute, Bobby Corea is featured on drums, and Michael Rubino takes a turn in the spotlight soulfully bending his guitar strings as he solos backed by Bollendorf on rhythm guitar and Tony Henry on bass.
Picking his sitar-sounding electric guitar, Bollendorf kicks off “Paint it Black” while Call sings, “I see a red door/And I want it painted black,” on the Stones’ 1966 #1 hit.
The crowd cheers, and Steel leaves the stage as Call reveals, “We’re going to take you to the ’70s with a country number,” prior to joking, “New Jersey’s out in the country, right?” Here, he and Bollendorf sing, “Take me down, little Susie, take me down,” in harmony on the country-rocker, “Dead Flowers.” Then, Steel returns to the stage for “Beast of Burden,” where Michaels adds a jazzy sax line to the band’s arrangement.
Call announces, “We’re going to take you back to something we call ‘Keith’s disco era’” as the group segues into “Miss You.” Here, Tony Henry plays nimbly on the bass and Bobby Corea keeps the disco beat percolating on high hat and cymbals while Call jumps around and he and Steel sing the song’s infectious “Ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh ooh-oo-ooh/Ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh ooh-oo-ooh” refrain.
Concertgoers whistle and cheer and Bollendorf announces, “We’re going to slow it down with this one.” Call sings with feeling and Steel and Bollendorf join him vocalizing on the “Wild horses/Couldn’t drag me away” chorus of the Stones’ country rock ballad, “Wild Horses.” Then, Bollendorf is featured singing lead and playing guitar on the R&B-infused rocker, “Before They Make Me Run.”
As fans cheer, Call returns strutting around the stage as he and the band strike up a rousing rendition of “Start Me Up.” Audience members happily play air drums while dancing in the aisles to the number’s funky beat. Keeping the party going, Call and Co. slide directly into “Honky Tonk Women” where Call performs his best Jagger moves and Bollendorf joins him in singing the song’s “It’s the ho-o-o-o-on-ky tonk women/Gimme, gimme, gimme the honky tonk blues” chorus.
The audience bursts into cheers, and Call responds, “I wish I could take you all home with me!” before acknowledging, “We’d like to do this one just like it was done in 1965.” Launching into “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” Call jumps and struts as he cries out, “'Cause I try, and I try, and I try, and I try,” on this classic Stones’ chart-topper.
Call asks, “You guys feel all right?” as he and the band segue into a smoking rendition of “It’s Only Rock ’n Roll.” The crowd joins in singing with Call, Bollendorf, and Steel on the infectious “I know it’s only rock ’n’ roll but I like it” chorus before the group takes leave of the stage.
As concertgoers stand and shout for an encore, the musicians return and Call tells the crowd, “We’ll send you off with one more. We love you dearly!” To conclude tonight’s performance, he and the band launch into the Stones’ 1969 #1 hit, “Brown Sugar.” Music lovers energetically interact with Call on the song’s “Yeah/(Yeah)/Yeah/(Whoo!)” refrain before the group crescendos to a big finish and Call exclaims, “Thank you! See you next year!”
To learn more about The Classic Stones Live Tribute Band featuring The Glimmer Twins, please click on theglimmertwins.com. For info on upcoming events at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts — including The Glenn Miller Orchestra on December 10, The Doo Wop Project on March 8, 2024, and The Weeklings’ Beatles Bash on April 13, 2024 — please go to grunincenter.org.
Spotlight Central. Your source for Jersey entertainment news and reviews
Love Imagery Fine Art Photography. all you need. peace/love/flower/power