Lords Of 52nd Street Play Show In Bensalem

by Alex Lloyd Gross

June 8, 2023

Tribute bands usually play the amphitheater in Bensalem on Wednesday nights in the summer.  Last night it was different. There was a concert but this was not tribute band. Lords of 52nd Street. This is the band that played with Billy Joel during his heyday.  These are the guys that are on records like The Stranger and 52nd Street.

Liberty Devito on drums, Richie Cannata on horns and Russell Javors on guitar.  Back in the 1970’s and early 1980’s this crew was on stage at places like the Spectrum and Madison Square Garden.  While they are no longer with Billy Joel, they  play his music and that they did, for almost 90 minutes. The show was tough and go due to the wildfire smoke, but the decision was made to hold the show.  Thousands showed up.

Alex Lloyd Gross Photo-Delaware Valley News.com Liberty Devito spends a minute away from his drum kit to talk with the crowd.



They played the obligatory hits such as “My Life” and “Scenes From and Italian Restaurant” because they have to play those songs. The crowd liked them but they went a bit more vocal when the Lords pulled out deeper cuts such as “The Stranger” and “Until the Night”, which featured Russell Javors and “Billy” singing a duet.

Richie Cannata was on fire, with the horns, blazing his way through the solos in “Say Goodbye To Hollywood” or when he was finding set lists to hand out to the crowd  down front. Liberty Devito can still hit the drums as hard as he did in 1978.



This band hates to be called a tribute band. They are not. After the show, Javors and Cannata came out to the crowd for photos and some fans brought their albums to get signed. They were signing for free.  Tribute bands do not have records out, they play other peoples records.   The show was not impacted at all by the wildfires , in fact, Cannata would make period jokes about it and at one point, they played a few bars of Smoke On the Water.


Alex Lloyd Gross Photo-Delaware Valley News.com Richie Cannata plays a solo.

At first the crowd was content to sit in lawn chairs and be entertained.  By the end of the show, many had had enough of being seated and they crowded around the stage to get a better view.  At times a show in Bensalem will run in two parts, allowing for an intermission. This was one straight shot of rock with no break.

The Lords got called back for an encore where they played “You May Be Right ” and closed with “Piano Man”.