So where has Max Weinberg—the deadpan comic foil to, and bandleader for, Conan O’Brien for 17 years on late-night television—been the past few years? Weinberg didn’t follow the animated funnyman to his TBS post in 2010, but he’s many drum fills away from retirement.
Weinberg continues to tour as percussionist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, with whom he’s tirelessly drummed since 1975, most recently on the Boss’s marathon River and Oceania tours of 2016-2017. The numbers speak to Weinberg’s ability to keep up with the singer-songwriter’s superhuman standards: 89 nights in 15 countries, each show spanning nearly four hours.
The concerts also featured set lists that change nightly, which serves as an eclectic primer for Weinberg’s latest project. Max Weinberg’s Jukebox, which visits Delray Beach this week, features the drummer and a professional three-piece band playing a set of classic-rock classics curated entirely by the audience at each show.
Attendees are provided with a video scroll of more than 200 tunes in the Jukebox repertoire. It includes dozens of Beatles tunes and a copious amount of Bruce favorites, plus cuts from Neil Young and Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and the Ramones, Chuck Berr and David Bowie, and the options continue. If it’s on the list, and somebody shouts it, Weinberg and company will play it. During one recent, emblematic set in Maryland, “Last Train to Clarksville” segued into the Band’s “The Weight,” which moseyed into Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and then Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride.”
Arts Garage booked Max Weinberg’s Jukebox for a Feb. 17 benefit concert, selling out the show in eight days. To meet the increasing demand, the venue has added a second show Feb. 18, and tickets are available. Unlike most Arts Garage shows, this time alcohol will be served at two cash bars—no BYOW this time—and the cabaret tables will be removed to facilitate a dance floor.
The best part for Weinberg? He’ll save mightily on travel costs. He is, after all, a new resident of Delray Beach!
Max Weinberg’s Jukebox runs at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $50 general admission and $200 for VIP meet and greet. Call 561/450-6357 or visit artsgarage.org.