Bachman-Turner Overdrive | March 7, 2024 | Welmont Theater | Montclair, NJ – Concert Review

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Review by Ralph Greco, Jr.
Photos by Joe Swarctz

Forget about teaching me new tricks, how about surprising me these days with a band that sports an original member? Bachman-Turner Overdrive did just that when they rolled into New Jersey.

Randy Bachman led a solid bunch of musicians (including his son) through a tight, 90-minute set of classics. Bachman sat center stage with his gold-topped Les Paul and played his heart out. In addition to the music, what made this show so very enjoyable was the stories the affable Bachman told between the songs.

There was a raucous read of “Roll On Down The Highway,” followed by “Rock Is My Life, and This Is My Song,” the Not Fragile album. Bachman talked about his days before the Guess Who,  setting up the cover of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates’ “Shakin’ All Over.” Bachman’s band Chad Allan and the Expressions managed to cover back the song in the early 60s, when their Canadian record label credited the band the single to ‘Guess Who?’ as a publicity stunt. The name obviously stuck.

Bachman pulled out a couple of Guess Who tunes — “These Eyes” and “No Time.” The setlist from there was pretty much split between music from the Guess Who and BTO — “Not Fragile,” “Four Wheel Drive,” “No Sugar Tonight,” and a spectacular “Undun.”

After “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” Bachman and the boys trotted out a medley that got the sold-out Welmont crowd on its feet. Bachman said he and his four musicians were going to play “backing band,” for the next few minutes, prompting the audience to sing and clap along. Running through covers of “All Right Now,” “Get It On,” and “Twist and Shout,” this 10-minute  show-ender was fun, though it would have been nice to hear a couple more BTO tunes. An encore of “Takin’ Care of Business” got the crowd and Randy Bachman to stand.

The ‘Back In Overdrive’ tour is surely the Randy Bachman revue. The main man is still playing great lead guitar, while his band keeps up with him. Together, the music and the stories made for a wonderful evening in Montclair.

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