Back in the late 80's, early 90's when I would venture to the historic Philadelphia Spectrum to see George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers I always knew I'd be witnessing one hell of a party. To me Thorogood epitomized what it was to be "cool". At 15 years old when I saw the video for "Bad To The Bone" on MTV for the first time back in 1981 I knew this dude was what it meant to be cool. Seriously, anyone who could put together such a rocking blues flavored track AND have Mr. Bo Diddley in a video shooting pool with him....now THAT was cool. And Saturday night at Parx Casino I saw that Thorogood is still the definition of cool.
Fans in the sold out Xcite Center came to their feet as Thorogood and band hit the stage and ripped into "Rock Party", a song which gets the crowd moving and gives notice that they are in for a party! Throgood even said as much during one of his many moments of interaction with the crowd when he said if anyone's going to jail tonight it'll probably be him!
The first of several Thorogood hits to be performed was "Who Do You Love?", a surreal moment for me being in the photo pit only feet away watching him attack the guitar as only he does. Throughout the show Thorogood was genuinely enjoying himself, playing with the crowd giving subtle hip thrusts to the women during "Who Do You Love" and displaying the prototypical Mick Jagger poses during "Get a Haircut". Before starting up "Get a Haircut" Thorogood told a story about how if it wasn't for Mick Jagger and Keith Richards he probably wouldn't be doing what he does.
My personal highlight...."I Drink Alone". Back in my partying days friends would my at a house party usually with a six pack in some empty bedroom listening to rock music and enjoying a beer by myself. When "I Drink Alone" came out that song was given to me as my party moniker! The band performed the song to perfection tonight and hearing the thick blues riffs live....it really doesn't get much better.
"Gear Jammer" was suggested by someone in the front row and Thorogood teased back that the band would do the song and "if we play it to perfection. which we will, it's on me but if we don't it's on you". And as promised they nailed it!! Throgood playing slide guitar is a thing of beauty and before getting in to "Gear Jammer" he played this quick slide riff, probably only 10 seconds, but my jaw was on the floor from it. And of course the slide solo midway through the song was just mind-blowing. The band was hot on the extended version of "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer", and Thorogood's most known song "Bad to the Bone". The set ended with a stellar performance of "Movin' On Over" before coming back for an encore "Born to Be Bad".
Throughout his career George Thorogood lived on songs about having fun, partying hard, loving the ladies, and always being cool. Saturday night in Bensalem Thorogood proved he was, is, and always will be "Bad To The Bone".
Who Do You Love?
I Drink Alone
One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
Get a Haircut
Bad to the Bone
Move It on Over
Born to Be Bad