If Bruce Springsteen is the expansive, epic romantic poet laureate of New Jersey, Southside Johnny Lyon is its gritty, short-story realist. While Lyon’s lyrical turns were never quite as ethereal as the Boss’ — there are no legs wrapped around velvet rims and hands strapped across engines in Asbury Jukes songs — they possess a basic and undeniable R&B earthiness and accessibility. Springsteen’s just-add-FM-radio success in the mid-’70s briefly and deservedly brought some attention to Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, but most of it was deflected after 1978’s Hearts of Stone, a minor hit that was followed by some near-misses and not-even-closes. Springsteen might have the bigger trophy room, but a Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes show has all the swagger, sweat, and unadulterated passion of any E. Street Band performance. They play the Great American Rib Cook Off & Music Festival at 9 p.m. at Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City. Tickets are $8 to $25. —Brian Baker
Review the show at clevescene.com/concertscene
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