For decades he’s been the drumbeat of the E Street Band. For 17 years he anchored the house band on Conan O’Brien‘s shows. He’s been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 2014. And this summer he’ll be tearing it up at the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning.

Max Weinberg. A guy raised in Newark, Maplewood and South Orange and who’s traveled the world brings it all back home Friday July 23 at 8:00 p.m. with Max Weinberg’s Jukebox.

A fun thing about this group is they invite the crowd to make as many song requests as they want so they never really know what their set list will be. And while you don’t hear much from the quiet man behind the drum kit when he’s touring with Bruce Springsteen, his Jukebox is a different experience. He’ll tell the backstories of songs, cool anecdotes of the many famous musicians he’s worked with, etc..

Howard Freeman is the Festival Executive Producer and he’s jacked for this show. “We take great pride in continuing to offer our attendees a truly unique and memorable concert experience year after year,” says Freeman. “This is going to be one of the most exciting, energetic performances that we’ve ever had.”

Here’s an example of him with his Jukebox handling an old classic like Wipeout like it’s nothing.

Some fun facts you might not know about Max Weinberg. Did you know he almost became a lawyer twice? When he was in college he thought that’s what he was going to pursue even though he’s been performing publicly since 7 years old. Then in 1989 when Springsteen broke up the E Street Band and went solo for years, Max, in his late 30’s, thought about going back to school and studying law. The Conan O’Brien thing came along though and launched a bit of a second career for him and of course Bruce got the band reunited and he never looked back.

Also did you know his son is a famous drummer too? Jay Weinberg of the heavy metal band Slipknot.

Tickets for Max Weinberg’s Jukebox performance at the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning are on sale Monday June 7 at 10:00 a.m. at www.balloonfestival.com.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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