Joined by a band of storied musicians, A.J. Croce lit up Arlington Music Hall’s stage Friday night.
Croce performed his inaugural Arlington concert with an endless supply of energy and a style all his own after Bonnie Bishop got things rolling with a raspy tune about the elusiveness of love “in a world like this.”
Croce's concert follows the release of his newest, soul-inspired album Just Like Medicine which was released in August. During the concert, Croce shared with the audience how he wrote through some tough times in his life while penning the lyrics to “Cures Just Like Medicine.”
“And, you know, I feel better,” he said.'
With Michael Bizar nearby on guitar, Croce seemed lost in the moment and the music at times as he captivated the crowd while interchanging between piano and guitar throughout the night.
“Man, I’ve never seen anyone get down on a piano like that,” said a man in the crowd.
“Smokin’,” yelled another concertgoer.
At one point, Croce talked about collaborating with Leon Russell. He also recalled visiting Willie Nelson’s tour bus before engaging the crowd in a song about rolling on.
The 46-year-old’s brilliance sparkled while performing his own original music along with some old favorites by his father, Jim Croce. He sang “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” “Time in a Bottle,” “Operator” and other well-known tunes along with “Name of the Game,” a song he referred to as sort of a father and son collaboration. “Name of the Game” was written by his father, he said, but went unrecorded after the legendary, folk musician’s tragic death following a 1973 plane crash.
The overall effect of Croce: Two Generations of American Music was a potent combination of folk, rock, boogie, blues and more. A whole lot more.
Arlington Music Hall is located at 224 N. Center Street. For more information about the venue and upcoming concerts, visit arlingtonmusichall.net.