I had a great time seeing music a couple of weeks ago at Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. My birthday was May 12th and my friends Laura Jean Hall and David Hall gave me a ticket to see George Thorogood & The Destroyers on Saturday the 14th. I was able to get out of work early enough and thought it might be fun. I had seen George a couple of times back in the ’80’s and he put on a pretty rocking show. I wasn’t sure what to expect in 2016 but was game to give it a try.
The evening began with Dave and Laura and their daughter Alexis taking me out to dinner at the Istanbul Kebob House. The food was very tasty and the dining area on the roof of the building had a great atmosphere. There was a bit of a rainy windstorm at the end, but it’s Vermont. These things happen.
After dinner we walked around the corner and entered the Flynn. Usually, I’m very precise with time, so I don’t miss a band, but for the whole night I had little sense of it and just went with the flow. It was odd to sit in the theater and look around and feel like I was one of the younger people there. Most of the nearly full room had been fans for a very long time.
After sitting and chatting for a bit the lights went down and Boston band Girls Guns and Glory took the stage. They had a mellow country sound that was nice, but didn’t grab me. There was one song about an old house that had a bit of an REM vibe which was cool and the song after rocked a bit, so I enjoyed some of the show. From there they went back to the well played and sung country songs until their set was done.
The break between the bands flowed timelessly and at one point the lights went down and George and the Destroyers hit the stage. George walked up to the mic and let loose a hearty “How sweet it is” and the band lit into Rock Party. The Destroyers are a five-piece with George singing and playing guitar joined by another guitar player, bass player, sax player and drummer. The band were super tight and rocked hard. They jammed out all of the songs for a long time and worked every note for all it was worth. In the many years since I had seem him, he had lost nothing and if anything he and the band were better than ever. The first part of the show was filled with classic covers such as Who Do You Love? and Night Time with a fun rocker called The Fixer in between. After Night Time there was a flurry of lights and guitars and the classic George songs came out. I Drink Alone rocked hard. The classic story was relayed in House Rent Blues / One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer. The story of how George is ten times richer than his big brother Bob, who got a haircut and got a real job, was inspiring. Gear Jammer was a musical tour de force with some killer George slide guitar. Up next was the classic Move It On Over then he played one I did not know. I think it was the Howlin’ Wolf song Tail Dragger. It was a fun rocker and the band played it hard. They capped the show with audience favorite Bad To The Bone then came back for a well demanded encore. Madison Blues had some of us dancing and everyone loving it. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in but felt thoroughly rocked out by the time I left.
After the show Alexis wanted to get the bands autographs so we went to the side of the theater where the buses were parked and waited. Everyone except George wandered by at some point and she got all of their autographs. One of the road crew walked up to her and asked if he could have something for George to sign, then walked onto the bus and returned shortly thereafter with George’s signature too. He never did come out of the bus but he did pull back the curtain and wave which was pretty cool. It was a great way to end a great day and was fun to watch Alexis excitedly skip back to the car for the short drive home.