Joining him on the Paramount stage were such gifted band members as Tommy Byrnes (Billy Joel’s lead guitar player), Carmine Giglio (Big Shot) on keyboards, Frank Scavone on bass, and Mike Sorrentino (Big Shot) on drums. Leonard sang lead vocals and accompanied himself on electric guitar.
Leonard kicked off his set with “I Don’t Know Why,” and it was followed by “Country Girl,” as well as “Rosewood.” Leonard’s music resonated well with the Long Island audience. It encompassed elements of folk, Americana, country, indie and even rock music.
He immediately broke into “Just Drive,” as well as “You Thought Wrong” and the moving yet relevant “And Justice For All.” He thanked everybody for coming out, and expressed his gratitude to all of the musicians that he shared the stage with tonight (Byrnes, Giglio, Scavone and Sorrentino).
One of the highlight moments was when he threw in a high-octane cover of Eminem’s Grammy-winning “Lose Yourself,” where he showcased his wide range as a recording artist. Most importantly, he was able to introduce this Eminem rap classic to an older generation of fans (the Billy Joel fan-base).
Overall, JD Leonard was able to put on an impressive show, warming up the stage for Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot at The Paramount. His opening set was pleasant, and it garnered two thumbs up.