Thorogood Thoroughly Enjoyable
Courtesy: Nick Kuhl - The Lethbridge Herald
"You’re never too old for rock and roll, baby,” said George Thorogood late in his set Saturday night.
This became easily apparent for Thorogood, his band The Destroyers, as well as about 2,000 people who weren’t drinking alone at the Enmax Centre.
The 68-year-old rock legend was in Lethbridge this weekend for the penultimate Canadian date of his Rock Party 2018 tour. He played a blistering 90-minute set packed with all of his top hits such as “Bad To The Bone,” “I Drink Alone,” and “Who Do You Love.”
Thorogood was clearly enjoying himself on stage, getting right into his heavy blues riffs and hip thrusting with opener “Ain’t Coming Home Tonight.”
The Delaware native, along with original drummer Jeff Simon, bassist Billy Blough, guitarist Jim Suhler, and saxophone player Buddy Leach, remained his charismatic self throughout the show, proving why he’s sold 15 million albums worldwide and still has legions of fans after more than 40 years of touring.
He also didn’t play any songs from his 2017 solo acoustic album “Party Of One,” choosing rather to keep the volume and tempo at high levels.
After a mid-set run of “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” “Gear Jammer,” fan singalong “Get A Haircut,” the band broke into its biggest hit and signature song, “Bad To The Bone.”
By this point, Thorogood had the crowd in the palm of his hands. Since he’s a crafty veteran, he didn’t stop there.
After a quick musical interlude, he came back on stage wearing a Dylan Cozens Lethbridge Hurricanes T-shirt – to raucous cheers.
“We’ve never had the pleasure of playing Lethbridge before,” Thorogood said. “We hope it’s the start of a long beautiful relationship. We have always enjoyed the support of our Canadian fans.”
Thorogood then closed the show with “Move It On Over,” and “Born To Be Bad.” It was only a 12-song set, but I’m pretty sure everyone who was there Saturday got their money’s worth – as it was a textbook example of a great rock concert.
Before Thorogood performed, opening act Damon Fowler displayed some talent fronting a three-piece blues rock formation. The singer/guitarist from Florida has been releasing work since 1999, but had never toured much in Canada.
“This is just about as far north as I’ve ever been,” Fowler said midway through his 40-minute set. He went on to explain he believes “Canadians are awesome,” detailing a story of when he got a speeding ticket earlier on this tour, which wrapped Sunday night in Calgary.
“He smiled and told me to have a nice day,” Fowler said. “We have some CDs for sale. We need to sell them to pay for the speeding ticket.”
Solid blues riffs and a good sense of humour clearly had Fowler making some new fans Saturday night in Lethbridge.
George Thorogood @ Massey Hall (Toronto, ON) on April 26, 2018 [Photos & Show Review]
“Bad To The Bone”. “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”. “I Drink Alone”. “Who Do You Love”. “Move It On Over”.... The litany of classic rock n’ roll anthems for which we owe tribute to George Thorogood and his band of merry Destroyers is a lengthy one indeed. Last Thursday, Mr. Thorogood, along with drummer Jeff Simon, Buddy Leach(saxophone), Bill Blough (bass) and guitarist Jim Suhler, rolled through Toronto once again, bringing their 2018 “Rock Party” tour to Massey Hall.
The show was short but sweet. A dozen songs in total were performed this evening, with Thorogood altering the words in some instances to reflect Toronto and Canada. During his set, Thorogood talked about his love for Canada a number of times, eliciting a hail of cheers when he said his first Canadian show was in Toronto over 40 years ago.
“There are three things you can rely on... Beer, Rock n Roll and Canadian fans!” This was delivered along with Thorogood’s signature smile, and it probably got the loudest cheers of the evening. That, and maybe the part when he left the stage for a moment towards the end of the set only to return a few minutes later wearing a black shirt with ‘Canada’ emblazoned across the front of it in an outlined script typeface.
Thorogood recently released a very limited Record Store Day vinyl single with a new track entitled “Ain’t Coming Home Tonight” along with “Shot Down,” a song originally released by The Sonics many moons ago. Both of these tracks were performed this evening, along with some of his most famous booty-shaking tracks, many of which have been in regular rotation on rock radio stations for close to four decades now.
Thorogood took a little time to plug responsible drinking before dropping “I Drink Alone” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” suggesting you get a friend to drive you home. Or even better, a friend’s girlfriend. He strutted about the stage mugging for the audience while performing like a musician just getting his career started, belying his 68 years of age - 50 of which he’s spent pursuing his rock and roll lifestyle.
Customized pillars of lighting set up on either side of Jeff Simon along with six panels of lights hung above the crowd and facing the audience were utilized to good effect this evening. The word “BONE” was spelled using the middle four of these panels as the band performed “Bad To The Bone,” easily Thorogood’s most renowned and most popular original song.
Click here to read more.
One not a lonely number for Thorogood
Couresty Winnipeg Free press
By: Erin Lebar
Veteran blues-rocker touring solo -- with help from his friends the Destroyers
Forty years ago, veteran blues-rocker George Thorogood made his first trek across the border into Canada to play a handful of shows.
He stayed for only a week and hit up just three cities — Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa — but still has some pretty distinct memories of the trip, including a gig in Montreal where he had to turn people away at the door himself.
As Thorogood, 68, explains it, there was a lineup of folks around the block when he and the band arrived at the venue, which led them to believe they were at the wrong place.
Once they realized all the people were there to see them, they rushed their gear upstairs and did the first of two shows. The venue owners wanted to clear the room before the second (already sold-out) show, but a group of people wouldn’t leave.
After a long, heated argument — entirely in French — the venue owners finally sent Thorogood out in an effort to talk the stubborn fans out of seeing his next set.
"So here I am, this kid from Delaware, I’m in a different part of Canada, and I’m trying to speak French, and this is the first time I’m trying to talk people into not listening to me play. Do you know how bizarre that was for me?" Thorogood asks, followed a raspy chuckle.
"I thought, ‘Why would they stay? We only have one record out, there’s only 10 songs on it, we already played them, we’re going to play them again.’
"I tried to explain that to them and they wouldn’t hear it. Finally they paid double for the ticket and the venue let them stay.
"We were just getting started but the reception was so… I’ve never seen anything like this. And the other parts of Canada were the same. Turning people away is one thing when you’re sold out, but making people leave…"
Since then, Thorogood and his band, the Destroyers, have gone on to build a 16-album catalogue and sell more than 15 million records worldwide, not to mention logging more than 8,000 live shows.
But within that massive collection of work, one thing was noticeably absent — a George Thorogood solo record.
So he made one.
Party of One was released last year and features just Thorogood and his guitar, ripping through 14 stripped-down blues covers that span all eras of the genre. The record also sees him return to Rounder, the roots label that signed him in 1976 and released his first three albums.
On all fronts it’s a bit of a retrospective, revisiting where his career began — as a solo, guitar-slinging blues performer — which is a difficult thing for someone who doesn’t typically spend time focusing on the past.
"No, I don’t look back," he says. "This is what’s happening right now, and I can’t wait to see what’s happening tomorrow. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is the present so it is a present.... I try to live in the now and look forward to the mystery of tomorrow."
But what is Thorogood most proud of when it comes to Party of One?
"The picture of me on the cover. I look like a damn movie star on that record!" he says.
Despite the fact the current tour is in support of the solo record, the Destroyers are on the road with Thorogood, so he promises the show will be as loud and as raucous as audiences have come to expect. And even though he’s not the biggest cheerleader for nostalgia, he says he’s keen to continue playing songs that have been fan favourites for decades, such as Bad to the Bone and I Drink Alone.
"It’s like a cook who makes a meal — if my family likes it, I like it; if my customers like it, I like it; if they don’t like it, it’s off the menu. Our act and our material was designed for the public… when we go in the studio we say, ‘Will our fans like this song?’ We always like the song, yes, but the motive is always to put out something that will please the public so I don’t get tired of them," he says.
"As long as the fans aren’t tired of them, then I’m not tired of them."
Thorogood getting bad to the bone back in the Bay
Courtesy TB News Watch
Blues rocker and honourary citizen, George Thorogood, makes his return to Thunder Bay.
THUNDER BAY – It’s been four long years since George Thorogood, the rocker behind hits like Bad to the Bone, Move it on Over, and I Drink Alone, has played to Thunder Bay audiences, but that doesn’t mean anything has been forgotten.
“For better or for worse, whether you love us or you don’t, once you see us you remember us,” Thorogood said in an interview with Tbnewswatch. “If you haven’t seen us, I would say have a good night’s rest and a good meal because you are going to need your energy.”
Thorogood and the Destroyers will be playing the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on Tuesday, May 1. With more than 15 million albums sold and more than 8,000 live shows, Thorogood has been making hit music for the last 40 years.
But even in all that time, there are some things Thorogood still hasn’t done, at least until now. In August 2017, Thorogood released what he called his first and last solo album, Party of One.
“It was something that was long overdue,” he said. “I was meaning to do it ever since I picked up a guitar.”
The album was released by Rounder Records and includes Thorogood performing 15 songs from traditional blues, modern blues, and rock artists, including John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Brownie McGhee, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash.
“When we first started doing the many acoustic things I used to do before, some of them were songs I’ve been doing alone and then we did the rock and roll versions,” Thorogood said. “We did those and halfway through it, we said is that enough material to stretch these things out? Why not start doing songs by people who admired or influenced you.”
Bringing his own distinct high energy sound to some of these artists was challenging, not only musically, but physically.
“It put a lot of pressure on me,” Thorogood said. ”It put pressure on my hands. How I prepare for it is a lot of rest and a lot of sleep the night before.”
And while this is his first solo effort, Thorogood said there will not be another because there is nothing more for him to do.
“I’ve run the gauntlet of what I can do,” he said. “This is pretty much all I’ve got in me to do that. It wouldn’t make it as special. That’s why I say it’s Party of One. There will be no Party of One part two.”
Audiences in Thunder Bay can expect to hear all their favourites, which are just as much fun to play for Thorogood and the band as it is for the audience to hear.
“They've become favorites, popular or whatever, and that’s what did them for,” he said. “Now what we achieved that, we’re going to keep playing them. That’s why people pay for the tickets.”