“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.
Have a look at the Party of One EPK
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.
A George Thorogood slide guitar riff is a sound like no other in the world. The contagious hip shaking and gyrating his infectious tunes elicit worked their magic on multiple generations of Toronto fans this evening. Fans between the ages of ten years old through to fans in their seventies were in attendance, and we all got to bask in his signature slide guitar sound for a memorable rock party indeed.
George Thorogood’s Setlist:
01. Ain’t Coming Home Tonight
02. Who Do You Love? (Bo Diddley cover)
03. Shot Down (The Sonics cover)
04. Night Time (The Strangeloves cover)
05. I Drink Alone
06. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (Amos Milburn cover)
07. Gear Jammer
08. Get a Haircut
09. Bad to the Bone
10. Tail Dragger (Howlin’ Wolf cover)
11. Move It On Over (Hank Williams cover)
12. Born to Be Bad