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Review: Big Shot amazing at The Paramount, covers U2 and Led Zeppelin (Includes first-hand account)

Singer-songwriter JD Leonard served as their opening act, who did a fine job warming up the stage for Big Shot.

The Big Shot line-up tonight was made up of Mike DelGuidice on lead vocals, piano and guitar, Tommy Byrnes on lead guitar, Chuck Burgi on drums, Nick Dimichino on bass, Carmine Giglio on keyboards, and special guest Andy Snitzer on saxophone (filling in for John Scarpulla).

DelGuidice kicked off his set with the progressive rock classic “Angry Young Man,” from Billy Joel’s Turnstiles album from the late ’70s. He immediately broke into the spitfire “Pressure,” as well as the infectious “My Life.” An added bonus was hearing “Vienna,” where purple lights dimmed from the stage, as well as the gorgeous “This Is The Time.”

“New York State of Mind” resonated well with the Huntington audience, where they were singing the lyrics back to him and the band verbatim. Andy Snitzer’s pitch perfect sax solos helped elevate it to a higher level.

They continued with “Movin’ Out,” and he threw in a distinct, euphonious version of “Let It Be” by The Beatles. He also took his listeners on a trip to “Allentown.”

Big Shot at The Paramount

Big Shot at The Paramount
Wayne Herrschaft

The Paramount also holds a special place in DelGuidice’s heart, so he is not afraid to sing a few original songs, including his orchestral ballad, the lyrically and sonically beautiful “Mona Lisa.” “Thank you very much. That was an original song. Thank you so much for listening,” he told his audience. “Please make some noise for the guy that opened the show tonight. His name is JD Leonard, and if you haven’t heard of him yet, you will. Great singer-songwriter. JD Leonard, one for more!”

It was also neat to see both of Big Shot’s drummers tonight (Chuck Burgi and Mike Sorrentino, who also performed with JD Leonard in the opening set). DelGuidice invited Sorrentino on stage to play a song with them, and that song was none other than “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin, and they delivered a rocking rendition, featuring DelGuidice’s powerhouse pipes. “Thank you,” he screamed. “Ladies and gentlemen, on the drums, Mike Sorrentino!”

DelGuidice performed “She’s Got a Way” on piano, backed solely by Giglio on keyboards, as well as the mellow ballad “She’s Always a Woman.” He switched over to acoustic guitar for a gentle cover of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and his brilliant acoustic version of “The Downeaster Alexa,” where his vocals were simply too good to be mortal.

He picked up the pace with “Sometimes a Fantasy” and “I Go To Extremes.” “Here we go. Here’s a Billy Joel history lesson for you,” DelGuidice said, and belted out “We Didn’t Start The Fire.”

They continued with “Keeping the Faith,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me,” as well as “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” where Snitzer displayed his prowess on saxophone yet again. They really put their hearts into the latter tune, which earned them a lengthy standing ovation.

Big Shot closed with “Only The Good Die Young,” Joel’s signature song “Piano Man,” and he went into the crowd for “You May Be Right.”

The Verdict

After 45 career Mike DelGuidice concerts, it is evident that there is something new to expect at every Big Shot concert. For DelGuidice to sing over 2.5 hours each night, with such charisma, passion and soul, is quite extraordinary. The entire band rocked as always, especially since they are all acclaimed musicians in their own right. Their February 23rd concert at The Paramount garnered five out of five stars.

Mike DelGuidice proves that he is one of the most underrated vocalists and instrumentalists that the New York music scene has to offer, but fortunately, Billy Joel has acknowledged his rare talent, by including him in his all-star live band, as his rhythm guitar player and background singer, where they perform monthly at the historic Madison Square Garden.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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