Sweet Birds of Youth

The Yardbirds return with a whole new set of songs.

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It took 35 years, but legendary blues-rockers the Yardbirds finally followed up their last studio album with 2003's Birdland. Tonight, the quintet -- minus onetime members Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page -- performs in Akron as part of the British Are Coming! concert (with Peter & Gordon and Beatles tribute band Revolution). Expect to hear songs from Birdland, as well as old hits like "For Your Love." Guitarist and co-founder Chris Dreja says he's looking forward to reacquainting himself with fans. "We were not like the Who or the Stones, which carried on and everybody grew old with," he says. "We took a long holiday."

The garage-rock revival inspired Dreja and original drummer Jim McCarty to return to the studio. In the '60s, the band's distortion-fueled guitar rave-ups were quickly recorded to cash in on the British Invasion. Dreja welcomes the opportunity to revisit some of those songs onstage. "The originals were done in a short amount of time, and the production was crap," he says. "It's interesting to go back and stage the play again, so to speak."
Sat., July 22, 6 p.m.

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