George Thorogood & the Destroyers
First Council Casino
March 15, 2012
By Jeb Wright
Sweet Little Rock and Roller | Who Do You Love | The Fixer | I Drink Alone | One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, | Cocaine Blues | Seventh Son | Get a Haircut | Bad to the Bone | Move It on Over
You Talk too Much
On the Ides of March, George Thorogood and his compadres, AKA the Destroyers, sauntered into Newkirk, Oklahoma to play, what Thorogood described on stage, as a “rock and roll show and Hootenanny.” From the opening note played it was clear that George was all smiles and ready to bring it on. His stage show has kicked it up a notch and features more lights and three screens which show Thorogood from different eras of his career throughout the event.
The opening number, a Chuck Berry cover titled “Sweet Little Rock and Roller” showed Lonesome George in fine form. He moved well, played even better and sang his ass off. In between songs, he entertained the crowd with stories from the past and even reminded everyone to tip their waitresses, “as they don’t make a living off of compliments!”
The band played most of George’s most popular songs with John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” including a sing-along with the crowd during the choruses and key moments in the tune.
“The Fixer,” from Thorogood’s 2003 album Ride Till I Die had the crowd moving. This is a great song and diehard fans were surprised to find it in the set list. Thorogood has always been one to add and remove songs, however, keeping it interesting for the band, the audience and himself. Another set list surprise saw Thorogood cover Johnny Cash with “Cocaine Blues,” a song he included on his Move It on Over album in 1978.
Thorogood actually performed some of his biggest hits early in the evening including the Bo Diddley classic “Who Do You Love” from Move It on Over and the Thorogood original “I Drink Alone” from 1985’s Maverick album.
The final three songs of the set got the crowd on their feet dancing and singing along. “Get a Haircut” from 1993’s Haircut album was followed by the title cut from 1982’s Bad to the Bone and the title song form his 1978 album, which was also a Hank Williams classic “Move It on Over.” Thorogood thanked the crowd and left the stage at the songs conclusion.
The crowd knew the evening was not over and they didn’t have to wait very long for Lonesome George and band to re-take the stage. Thorogood surprised the crowd during his first encore by playing a song that was unknown to most in attendance. “Tail Dragger” from Thorogood’s 2009 album The Dirty Dozen proved to be one of the best tunes of the evening, despite it’s lack of notoriety.
The band took a bow and left the stage once again and everyone thought it was time to go home. The lights, however, were not coming up and a roadie was waving his arms in the air, signaling that for enough applause George would come back and continue playing.
After a few more moments, Thorogood returned for a second encore and cranked up “You Talk to Much” from 1988’s Born to Be Bad. Thorogood followed up with what would prove to actually be the last song of the evening. It was a tune from his 1977 debut written by blues master Elmore James. “Madison Blues” was received well by the audience but not by the venue, as the house lights came up towards the end of the song, letting George know that the casino was ready for the patrons to stop rocking and start gambling.
At the end of the day, Thorogood continues to be the best bar band to ever grace the big stage. His music and wit are infectious and no matter how old he gets, he will always have the charm of a mischievous teenager.
During “You Talk to Much” Thorogood struck an Elvis pose on his knees, he stayed there…he continued to stay there a bit longer and then he went from looking like the King to looking like a guy who was about to fall over from exhaustion. He made it to his feet and walked over and leaned against an amplifier as a roadie rushed over waving his face with a towel. Just as the crowd was about to worry, George flashed that grin and said, “I’ve always wanted to do that. I saw Elvis do it in a movie once.”
With that, he slid his guitar on and kept rockin’ the night away.