Just got back from the Akron Rib Burn-Off (I live in Pittsburgh) where South performed tonight. Akron's just south of Cleveland, so a very SSJ-friendly area/crowd.
Outdoor event in a downtown plaza with office-type buildings on 3 sides. Probably 2-3,000 people there. Went to check out the stage at 7:00 PM for the 8:00 show and there were already about 100 people there. Warm but breezy, and it got hotter . . . . . .
The merchandise booth was there, and seemed to be doing good business, particularly after the show. Merchandise seemed light to me-3 or 4 T's in limited sizes, sweatshirt, jackets ($75 and $95), stuffed animals. Only CD available was Jeff Kazee's. They're still unsure when their mailing list will be up and operating.
Show started at almost 8 PM exactly. Band was Ed Manion and Joey Stann on saxes, and the trumpet player from last summer's tour (sorry, I don't know his name), Jeff Kazee on keyboards, David Hayes (with a haircut) on bass, Bobby on guitars and a drummer that was never introduced but who looked a lot like the actor who played David Puddy on the Seinfeld series.
Enough background; the set:
Up to the sunglass thing, South was in a good mood. Only commented once about the sound, was looking fit, obviously enjoying himself and the crowd. Was fooling around with a couple of kids at the front of the stage, wearing their hats, put one on BB, etc. Incidentally, for those who said Bobby's playing/stage presence is passionless should have seen him tonight. He was into it. The band was good and sounded pretty tight, although another horn would help (and, no, it doesn't necessarily need to be Richie, though he's always a great player)
All in all, a very good show. Hope they stop back after they finish up their swing west. Those of you seeing upcoming shows are in for a good time!!