It was worth the wait.

When Robert Randolph and the Family Band took the stage, an hour late, last Friday night in Morrell Gym, the audience forgot the wait. They forgot that Randolph and his band had been sitting in their hotel room eating lobster until 8:30. All they heard was the music and the incredible talent the band displayed. From the moment the band played their opening instrumental number until the finale where every band member switched instruments, everyone was dancing for the whole concert.

Randolph, named as one of Rolling Stone's 100 greatest guitarists of all time, plays an interesting brand of guitar: the pedal steel. Many who were unfamiliar with this instrument soon realized Randolph's mastery of it. Randolph's cousin (the family band?get it?) Marcus Randolph joined him on the drums, with Danyel Morgan on bass and backing vocals, and Jason Crosby played the organ, piano, and violin.

After the first energetic instrumental number, Randolph moved into a song he called "The March." Standing up on his chair, Randolph showed the audience how to move to the march, and then pointed to members of the audience with cheers of, "Yeah, you got it!" The song then morphed into the band's unique version of "When the Saints Go Marching In."

Randolph and the band had major audience participation during the entire concert. Announcing one of his songs was "for the ladies," he invited the girls in the crowd to dance onstage to a hip-shaking chorus. Randolph then jumped on his chair and started dancing himself, while the roadies and Director of Student Activities Burgie Howard kicked all the boys offstage. During the band's hit "I Need More Love," Randolph passed the microphone from student to student to sing the chorus while Morgan belted out a falsetto.

The most audience participation came when Randolph switched to a traditional guitar and asked who in the audience could play. Immediately, people started yelling and pointing at themselves or their friends, hoping to get onstage. A senior in high school was the first one pulled from the crowd and his age didn't keep him from putting on a great performance. Next came David York '07, who soloed well with the band and played some terrific riffs, and then Eric Davich '06, the lead singer and guitarist of past years' Jim Weeks Philharmonic. Davich, who also plays jazz, fit in well with the band's style and Randolph asked him for his band's contact information after the show.

The band finished with "Soul Refreshing," a cut from their album Unclassified. For an encore, all members of the band switched from instrument to instrument. They all played the pedal steel, the bass, the drums, and the keyboard in a major showcase of their talent. After over two hours of nonstop energy and great music, the band left the stage with waves and thanks to the crowd.

But the show didn't end there. After retreating to their dressing room, the band found out about Joshua's Tavern downtown and decided to take a field trip. There, they took over the stage from the band that was already playing, putting on a smaller, more intimate performance for the Joshua's crowd. They then returned to campus and played for the students at Baxter. For showing up an hour late, Robert Randolph and the Family Band definitely made up for it.