The Doobie Brothers returned to play a sold out show at Artpark’s outdoor stage Tuesday evening. Despite rain and clouds in the early part of the day, the sun and humidity arrived just in time for the show. The show marked the first appearance of the band since their still talked about performance in 2010.
The band started their set off with “Jesus Is Just Alright” before upping the ante with a smoking version of “Rockin’ Down The Highway” both extracted from The Best Of The Doobies compilation.
The band is comprised of only two original members in Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston. Joining them were drummers Tony Pia and Ed Toth, multi-instrumentalist John McFee, Guy Allison on keyboards, bassist John Cowan and saxophonist Marc Russo.
The emotion on the face of singer, guitarist Tom Johnston during his stellar solo on “Clear As The Driven Snow” illustrated just how much passion he puts into his playing these days. Johnston had left the band in the mid seventies due to health issues so it was good to see him savor everything that took place during the show.
The middle segment of the set seemed a little mundane perhaps moreso with the audiences unfamiliarity with the selected material. As the band launched into “Takin’ It To The Streets”, the band’s crisp harmonies seemed to revive the crowd and was the moment in the set where things perked up.
The show closed with a run through of the Simmons’ sung chart topping classic “Old Black Water” followed up with “Long Train Runnin’”. Back for a three song encore the band cranked out their classic rock staple “China Grove”. The band also rendered a rare tune “Road Angel”, a song that until this year hadn’t been played since the seventies. The band’s anthemic “Listen To The Music”, closed out the show as Johnston led the crowd through the hearty sing-a-long.
Except for the unimaginative middle portion of the show, The Doobie Brothers started the show strong and ended it on a high note. This was the second show to sell out from the Tuesday In The Park Concert Series schedule. No surprise there as The Doobie Brothers sat back and let the crowd listen to the music, and listen they did indeed.
Jesus Is Just Alright
Rockin’ Down the Highway
Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me)
Depending on You
Clear as the Driven Snow
A Brighter Day
World Gone Crazy
Slack Key Soquel Rag
South City Midnight Lady
Eyes of Silver
Takin’ It to the Streets
Don’t Start Me Talkin’
Long Train Runnin’
Listen to the Music