George Thorogood and the Destroyers Rock Party

George Thorogood

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George Thorogood and the Destroyers Rock Party Review

George Thorogood and the Destroyers Rock Party

July 1stis moving day in Quebec, but there was even more moving and shaking inside Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier during tonight’s Montreal Jazz Festival presentation of George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Jordan Officer

20 years ago, in 1998, Charles Brown was unable to open for Ray Charles.  Just as Jordan Officer was wondering who would replace him, the phone rings.  His big break.  Thus, Jordan won the heart of the Montreal crowd that night.

Jordan was the perfect opener for Rock Royalty George Thorogood with his embodiment of Chuck Berry.

What surprised me more was he introduced me to Western swing.

If you know me, you know that Country and especially Western is something that can be used on me as torture. I do listen to, and appreciate a few of the old legends, so when I heard Western Swing, I was afraid.

Inspired by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Sage Reynolds switched to his stand-up bass.  With Tony Albino on drums, they proceeded to play something I quite enjoyed.

Wanting to match George’s anthem to booze, Jordan performed “One Handed Push-Ups” about having a glass of Gin in one hand and doing push-ups with the other.  I can’t wait for that gym to open up!

After the set, I overheard:

« C’était tellement bon.  Un show live, ça me touche le cœur. »

Well said.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers

A man who was equally fit tonight was George Thorogood.  The last time I saw him, was at the Spectrum in 1999.  Sporting leopard skin tights, it was not pretty.

Now, aged 68, he was slim and in top shape, still bursting with swagger and energy.

George Thorogood
George Thorogood

Before his arrival on stage, Eve of destruction (Barry McGuire) played to allow all to find their seats. Was this some sort of prophetic warning, from a band whose name consists of Destruction?

Then came the lights and George and the band were introduced, like a boxer entering the ring as the World Champion of Rock-n-Roll.

Starting us off with “Ain’t Comin’ Home Tonight”, a new vinyl release on April 21stfor Record Store Day covering the song by Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat.

With the first few familiar bars of “Who Do You Love?”, George captured the crowd and didn’t let them go till the lights came back on and “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles played on the P.A..  Yes, love, the antidote to destruction to answer the prophetic message with the cure.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers
George Thorogood and the Destroyers

George says at one point that nobody had to remind him this morning…well, this afternoon when he woke up, which town he was playing in.

The Montreal Jazz Festival is not only honored to have George and his band play, but at the end of “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”, he was honored as well.

André Ménard, Vice-President and cofounder of the festival handed the 5th B.B. King Award to George Thorogood for his contribution to the blues scene.

So many hits, which they played with passion and George’s prowess with the guitar.  His strumming so fast, at one point I believed he had 6 fingers on each hand!

George Thorogood and the Destroyers

He especially thanked Canadians for their support of “Get a Haircut” which hit number one requested and played song on Canadian FM radio in 1993, the height of Grunge.

The encore consisted of a rousing “Born to Be Bad” that had the crowd singing, way past their bedtime.  A biker gang looking fan in the front row was singled out by George to dance and got his moment of fame by singing that famous line:  Born to Be Bad.  We all cheered.

Born to Be Bad
Born to Be Bad

Tonight, young and mostly old, enjoyed some classic Blues hits from a man who has been entertaining crowds for more than 40 years, 8,000 live shows and 15 million album sales under his belt.  The tour lived up to its name:  Rock Party.

Setlist

Ain’t Coming Home Tonight
Who Do You Love?
Shot Down
Night Time
I Drink Alone
One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
Gear Jammer
Get a Haircut
Bad to the Bone
Tail Dragger
Twenty Dollar Gig

Encore

Born to Be Bad

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