George Thorogood and The Destroyers: old dog, new tricks.
The crowds slowly filtered into the welcoming Wellmont Theatre on Fri., March 15 to listen to the blues-laden sound of The Slide Brothers and legend George Thorogood and The Destroyers. The house steadily filled throughout the night to eventually hold an almost sold out show.
The general demographic of the crowd consisted mostly of seasoned listeners who were no strangers to the mix of rock and soul, reminiscing about their times as rowdy teenagers and finding an air of confidence in the smooth moves of the George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
The air was clad with the smell of cigarettes and beer, but the March air was crisp enough to keep the smells moving and the crowds comfortable. The Slide Brothers took to the stage at exactly 8 p.m., amply warming the crowd and igniting their souls.
Many could be seen dancing along to the rhythms made by the men, feeling the music much deeper than their ears allowed. The brothers truly made their steel guitars cry as they wailed through a 45-minute set. Each song blended gracefully into the next, creating a seamless stream of blues and bass.
In between sets, concert attendees Chris and Fred, old high-school friends who came together for the unforgettable Thorogood performance, commented on the performance to come. The men were faithful George Thorogood and the Destroyers fans since “they first hit the scene” in the seventies. Chris commented that he was looking forward to hearing “what he’s up to now” instead of all the standard overplayed songs.
George Thorogood was ushered onto the stage with simple blue lights illuminating the drum set and stage, changing to crimson red just before Thorogood and the Destroyers walked on. Three small screens positioned on either side and above the drum set flashed pictures of skulls and the bands logo.
“The Friday night rock part is now in session,” said George Thorogood with a grin on his face and a mission to please his entire crowd.
Through a night of song after song, the men proved that unlike today’s modern bands, they didn’t need an elaborate light show and side-chatter to keep their fans occupied. Instead, they simply needed the passion for their music, something that was never in short supply for George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
George Thorogood and the Destroyers played all of their classic songs, and some known only to the most dedicated of fans. The crowd was on their feet for “I Drink Alone,” appropriately chased by “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.” In true Thorogood fashion, he completed the alcohol laden numbers with a public service announcement to never drink and drive, and that there was never a problem in finding alternate means to go home.
The man, clad in black, gave a tribute to the man in black, Johnny Cash, with his cover of “Cocaine Blues.” Despite age, Thorogood never lost his stamina or his drive, and neither did his Destroyers, proving old dogs can also keep up fresh tricks.
The night ended with the Thorogood wailing through “Born to Be Bad.” The song states that: “Now when I’m gray and old and my story is told I know what the people will say.” Just as Chris had commented, and all concert goers could unanimously agree, “George still gots it.”
Be sure to look out for George Thorogood and the Destroyers as they continue their tour in the United States; but hurry, they’re only here until March 21. Check out the Wellmont’s next show, Garbage featuring IO Echo on March 20. Tickets are on sale now through wellmonttheatre.com.