Black fedoras, blazers and skinny ties filled Beasley Coliseum Friday night for the Dad’s Weekend Blues Brothers concert.
According to Leo Udy, the director of the coliseum, about 4,600 people bought tickets to see Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd perform with accompaniment by the Sacred Hearts band.
Udy said attendance was lower than usual because the concert was held on a Friday. The shows are usually held on Saturdays following the football game, but because kickoff was not until 7:30 p.m. this year, the concert was held on Friday, before some people got into town.
Despite the drop in ticket sales, Belushi and Aykroyd had the crowd clapping along to the music within five minutes of being onstage.
The Blues Brothers’ Show Band and Revue, as it was originally known, was founded in 1978 by Aykroyd and John Belushi, Jim Belushi’s older brother, as part of a musical sketch on “Saturday Night Live.”
The show Friday featured songs such as Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle,"“300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy” written by Big Twist & the Mellow Fellows and Floyd Dixon’s “Hey Bartender.”
During “300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy,” Belushi raised his shirt and flashed his ample stomach to the crowd while he sang the lyrics: “This is it. Look what you get!” Later in the song, Belushi danced with a visiting dad onstage, where they both showed the audience their stomachs and bumped bellies, sumo-style.
Throughout the show, Belushi went into the crowd and danced with unsuspecting young women. Sophomore interior design major Jordan Christensen was the first partner he picked.
“It was lots of fun,” she said. “It took me by surprise.”
Jordan’s father Rich said he enjoyed the show, and his favorite part was seeing his daughter dance with Belushi.
“I was in high school when they (the Blues Brothers) first got famous,” he said.
Later in the show, Belushi and Aykroyd got a breather while musician Jimmie Wood sung and performed on his harmonica, and vocalist Julie Delgado sang Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman.”
After the show, the audience clamored for more. When the Blues Brothers and the band returned to the stage for the encore, about a dozen young women got onstage and danced with them, forming a human chain.
Alexa Makhani, a fiscal specialist for WSU Information Technology Services, said her favorite part was the Blues Brothers’ energy. It looked like they had a lot of fun together, she said.
Her father Aziz agreed and said he liked the performers’ interaction with the crowd.
“Of all the concerts we’ve been to, this was the best, because they got everyone involved,” he said.