Sixty-two-year-old veteran rocker Eddie Money brought his Jingle Bell Rock tour to Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Thursday. Scheduled to appear was former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm and former Jefferson Starship lead singer Mickey Thomas.
The day before their performance at Thunder Valley, it was announced that Gramm would not be performing for the remaining tour due to acute laryngitis, so Gramm was not in attendance.
As the concert kicked off with Money and Thomas taking the stage, the audience immediately started chanting, “Lou! Lou! Lou!” Money responded by explaining the situation and said they had added a couple of songs to their setlist to make up for the missing Gramm. This was followed by more than a few polite boos ““ is there really such a thing as a polite boo?
Money exited stage left while Thomas started singing “Jane.” Thomas wore a striped shirt with a loosely worn red Christmas tie, while he banged out “Sara,” “We Built This City,” “Nothings Going to Stop Us Now.” Thomas ended his set with “It’s Christmas Time Pretty Baby,” singing in the style of Elvis Presley.
The 62-year-old Thomas’ vocals really stood out throughout his set, sounding just as good as he did all those years ago, in particular when he sang Annie Lennox’s “Winter Wonderland.”
Backing Thomas was Money’s regular crew consisting of longtime band members Tommy Girvin (lead guitar) and Glenn Symmonds (drummer), with more recent additions Lee Beverly (bass) and Chris Groves (keyboards).
Following Thomas, Money came out singing “Baby Hold On” and “I Wanna Go Back.” As Money sang, he shuffled back and forth across the stage and even pulled out the saxophone to show everyone he can still play.
Rounding out the show, Money and Thomas took the stage together singing “Jingle Bell Rock” and a rocking version of “Jingle Bells.” For their encore they performed John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”
While Money’s vocals were not as pristine as Thomas’, he made up for it with his overall stage presence, sense of humor and kindness toward the audience, reaching out to shake hands with a few people in the front row.
Offstage, Money is extremely generous and cordial to all those around him, introducing himself to anyone standing near. His generosity doesn’t stop there.
Money is a strong supporter of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which helps support families of military personnel lost in service to our nation and for severely wounded service members and veterans.
Money is hoping fans will help bring some holiday cheer to heroic members of the armed forces by going to eddiemoney.com and purchasing his single “One More Soldier Coming Home.” All the proceeds will go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
The Jingle Bell Rock tour was originally started by Money. This past summer, Money performed at a benefit in a Los Angeles club where Gramm and Thomas also appeared. After some discussion they decided to work with Money and tour with him in the Jingle Bell Rock tour.
While this was Money’s show and he was the headliner, Gramm’s absence was a big disappointment for many of the fans in the audience. Especially after Foreigner just came through the area a couple of months ago with their new frontman Kelly Hansen leading the charge. Hansen did an awesome job and put on a high energy show ““ check out my review. I for one, was hoping to see the real deal – maybe next year.
Yes, the audience booed after they realized Lou wasn’t going to be there, but these diehard fans enjoyed the show nonetheless. It’s these types of fans that keep the old-school bands going. And it’s these types of bands that keep the old people going ““ and a little help from Geritol.