Written by: Chris Akin
- Photo Credit - @badcompany.com
Cool friends are the ones that have their wedding reception at a concert featuring Bad Company and the Doobie Brothers. Since I hadn't ever seen either band, this concert would have been a must-attend, even if I wasn't on the guest list. I grabbed my pal Chris Akin, and we drove to Detroit to see Bad Co. and the Doobie Bros at DTE. Here's a road report from Chris:
The reality of my life these days is that I don’t travel for shows much. It’s not even that I won’t travel to see a show. With ticket prices the way they are though, and given the fact that I’ve pretty much seen EVERY band I would ever truly want to, the time has really just passed me by to take any sort of a road trip for a band. That is, unless it’s a really, really special evening. Given that Bad Company is one of my favorite bands ever, is only playing 10 dates in the USA, and (more than likely) will not ever tour again, this was one of those times that a long car ride was in order. While the drive for us was about 4 hours each way, the performance from Paul Rodgers and company was more than worth the time invested to get there.
Having seen a slew of these 70s rockers that are still out there touring, it’s with great pleasure that I tell you that this show, featuring Bad Co. and the Doobie Bros., was far and away the best live show I’ve ever seen from a classic band. That fact can be almost singlehandedly attributed to the brilliant vocal work of the great Paul Rodgers. To put it bluntly, the fact that Paul Rodgers sounds every bit as good and as powerful as he did 40 years ago when he started singing professionally is simply amazing. Watching him on stage, he’s still super energetic and clearly enjoying himself as he tears through the classics that made him a star in the first place.
Feeding off a highly energetic crowd, it was very clear that Rodgers was putting in extra effort as he and the band tore through songs like “Ready For Love” and “Rock Steady.” He was more than happy to bring the crowd into the show on several occasions; and the crowd was all too willing to help out. “Shooting Star” became an all out sing-a-long between Rodgers and the crowd, but not in the lame way where most of your Motley Crue type bands would use it to spare the singer’s voice a little. Hearing the power of Rodgers on stage, there’s no one that thought he needed the audience’s help. Instead, he just drew the audience in that way to ensure never losing their energy. It never failed.
While all of the biggest hits were there, it was when they stepped away from the 10 From 6 hits that Bad Co. shined brightest on this night. While not a surprise at all, Rodgers’ and guitarist Mick Ralphs acoustic performance of “Seagull” was, by far, the emotional highlight of the entire evening. Given the power of his performance of the song (as well as having seen him sing it several times solo,) it’s pretty clear that this is probably Rodgers’ favorite song he ever did with the band. Another true highlight was much more surprising; the inclusion of Rough Diamonds opening track “Electricland” into the set. Given that my first experience ever to Bad Co. was that song, it made for a truly surreal moment for me to have that song pulled out.
These moments aside, the entire crowd sang right along with the band throughout the entire set as hit after hit was hurled at them. “Movin’ On,” “Rock And Roll Fantasy,” “Rock Steady,” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love” were performed with great passion by the band; especially Rodgers who just seemed thrilled to be playing this music for such a receptive audience. When half the members of the Doobie Brothers joined the band for “Rock And Roll Fantasy,” most of the crowd hardly noticed because of the hypnotic trance Rodgers had them under. By the time the band finished their encore with their theme song “Bad Company,” all anyone was left thinking was, “man, that went really, really fast.” That, all by itself, says all you needed to know about this performance.
As good as Bad Co. proved to be, they were literally pushed to be great by a truly inspired performance by The Doobie Bros. Not to be outdone in sound or energy, Tom Johnston seemed on a mission to rock every single person at DTE on this night. Much like Rodgers, he stalked around the stage furiously; encouraging the crowd through to be louder. In traditional Doobies’ fashion, the show was dominated by powerful yet beautiful vocal harmonies.
The band got the crowd going as they raced through hits like “Black Water” and “China Grove”. It was a very interesting dynamic to see so many aging, 60-something Hell’s Angels wannabes dancing and singing in the aisles to songs like “Listen To The Music”, “Jesus Is Just Alright” and “Takin’ It To The Streets”. Johnston and the band’s other surviving member Patrick Simmons guided the new Doobies well, and they more than warmed things up for Bad Company. From start to finish, a brilliant night that quickly reminded me why this musical era was so far and away superior to anything that has followed it. A brilliant show; one of the most memorable of my lifetime.
Can't Get Enough
Run With The Pack
Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy (w/Members Of Doobie Brothers)
Feel Like Makin' Love
Ready For Love
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I had a "moment" this past week. Occasionally, I'll lend out music to friends, although if I have my ultra-anal thinking cap on, I'll often just burn them a copy instead. In this case, I wasn't thinking straight (not the first time that this has happened.) A couple of weeks later, my co-worker returned my formerly pristine double disc .38 Special anthology in a condition that appeared as if they had applied an electric sander to the discs in an attempt to edit out "Second Chance."
Speaking of "Second Chance."
Anyway, my physical music collection means less and less to me with each passing year and moving van, but seriously, why can't people take care of, and be respectful of possessions that are on loan? The former me would have had a conversation with the perpetrator, but the new me decided to just let it go. And blog about it here.
Now that I've got that off my chest, here are the links that have been rocking my world this week!
The Wrestler is one of my recent favorite movies, and one of the things I enjoyed most was the masterful and very specific use of music in the soundtrack that ties the entire film together. Give those music supervisors a big fat check for a job extremely well done. Cory Frye at Popdose contributed a recent piece regarding The Wrestler that is one of the finest pieces of writing I've read on Popdose to date. If you've seen the movie, you really owe it to yourself to check out Cory's piece. And if you haven't seen The Wrestler yet, rent/buy that sucker, and cross it off your list!
While we're hanging out at Popdose, let's check in with Ken Shane, who shares his thoughts and memories on one of my favorite albums, Days of Future Passed by The Moody Blues. The Moody Blues piece is part of Cratedigger, one of my new favorite features on Popdose. Don't forget to snag yourself a copy of the upcoming DVD of their classic Isle of Wight performance!
Sad news to hear of the passing of Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Donald "Ean" Evans this past week after a short battle with cancer. I met Ean for the first time last year when the band was in town for an evening at the Rock Hall. He was one of the nicest and most humble people I've ever had the pleasure to meet, and very respectful to the legacy of original Skynyrd bass player Leon Wilkeson.
Southern fried all-stars The Yayhoos played their first gig in quite a while, including the debut of their version of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," which drummer Terry Anderson describes as a track that is "tailor made for the Yayhoos." Check out an entire gig recap from Anderson here.
Thanks to Peter @ Blogness on the Edge of Town for sharing the following bit of humor related to the pending Yes/Asia tour happening this summer. I'm planning to head to Michigan to catch this show, and I am planning to also hopefully catch the Michigan stop for the double bill of Bad Company and the Doobie Brothers as well!
Here's some more great reading regarding the recent birthday of legendary former Plain Dealer rock critic Jane Scott.
Michael Gallucci at Scene Magazine spent some time recently lamenting this year's most unwelcome reunion - the return of Creed. A haircut can't hide the fact that Creed is still polluted by the walking vomit that is Scott Stapp. The nauseating story behind Stapp's new look can be found here.
I really enjoyed this Lemonheads "Drug Buddy" related flashback. Definitely looking forward to the new covers disc, and the Cleveland date at the Grog in June.
Speaking of Cleveland shows that I am really looking forward to, I am quite happy to get a Cleveland stop for the "Gin and Tonic" tour, a summer tour featuring the Gin Blossoms and a reunion of Tonic! You might recall that I'm a bit of a Tonic fan. The band will be at Cain Park in August, which will be my first show at Cain Park since Sarah McLachlan in 1995! Check out the complete tour schedule of upcoming Tonic dates here.
My friend David Lifton has been grabbing some nice press for his new book set about the Obama family, including this nice interview here. Grab your own copy of the set here. While we're throwing this unexplainable spotlight on Dave, if you're a fan of the television show Scrubs, you might enjoy his thoughts on the wrap-up!
Here on the site, make sure to check out Kevin's recent Webb Wilder primer including some great live tracks! Meanwhile, our pal Mel takes a crack at year 32, offering some musical playlist listening in relation to the milestone, and also plenty of dish about her recent Vegas trip. You can also check out her non-musical Vegas wrap post here on the Boyfriend blog.
That's it for now - I am off to help my friend Amy move some boxes, preparing to get her the hell out of my house, clearing the way for my good pal Adam to take her place in June. That previous sentence sounded kinda bad, almost like I'm pushing her out the door, when the reality is that I'll miss my housemate when she departs next week. We've had some good times, and of course will continue to have many, many more!
Thanks for your support of Addicted to Vinyl!