Artpark Outdoor Stage
Tuesday August 1, 2017
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
There is something about Artpark on Tuesday. With the lone exception (so far) of the ZZ Top concert, the weather always seems to clear up in time for the show. The double bill of two classic rock stalwarts, George Thorogood & The Destroyers along with 38 Special gave the Artpark faithful a show they will remember for a long time to come. Thorogood called Artpark “the world’s greatest secret” saying it was a joy to play here again. It had been six years since he last played here, well before all the recent upgrades to the unique venue. Thorogood was in such a great mood as he treated the fans to a gem of a show, the best Thorogood show this reviewer has ever seen.
Thorogood took to the stage with what would become the anthem of the evening “Rock Party”. He proceeded to play most of his drinking and anthem songs. By the time he played his classic “I Drink Alone” this is where the show really took off. When he dug out the classic “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer”, he asked “I take it you heard this story before?” He quickly followed up with “well you’re gonna hear it again and again…” as the crowd roared on in approval.
A short but solid version of “Gear Jammer” led to one of his later hits “Get A Haircut”. A raucous “Bad To The Bone” promptly followed which had the crowd singing along and playing air guitar. He ended his set with a splendid version of “Move It On Over”.
The biggest surprise of the night was yet to come. To close out the evening for his 80-minute set, he pulled a rabbit out of his hat by encoring with the unsuspecting “Born To Be Bad”. Sans guitar, a rare occurrence for Thorogood as he moved from one end of the stage to the other as the audience yelled out the last part of the chorus with the house lights shining on them. It was the perfect ending to a vintage show.
38 Special kicked off the double-bill with their standard opener “Rockin’ Into The Night”. The band last appeared at Artpark in 2013. The band made up for lost time by keeping things moving along and made the most of their 75-minute set.
They did an abbreviated version of their traditional medley and still managed all their radio hits as well as a pair of cuts from singer Don Barnes’ recently released “lost” solo album. The album, Ride The Storm was actually recorded in 1989 but was never released due to the record label being sold a few times. A cover of Chicago’s “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” and the title track “Ride The Storm” fit right in and helped to freshen up the band’s set.
The band’s stable lineup of Barnes, guitarist Danny Chauncey, keyboardist Bobby Capps, drummer Gary Moffatt and bassist Barry Dunaway sounded on top of their game. Though Barnes voice wavered a few times during the evening, being the trooper he is, he still managed to pull through and deliver an overall satisfying show.
Songs of note were “Fantasy Girl”, and the finale powerhouse one-two punch of “Caught Up In You” and “Hold On Loosely”.
At first glance this seemed like one of those pairings that were just thrown together. In the end however, after witnessing these two classic rock staples, both who brought their “A game”, it was plain to see how well the crowd enjoyed not only each group but the show as a whole. Those who love classic rock loved this show there’s no two ways about it.
Who Do You Love
Just Can’t Make It
I Drink Alone
House Rent Blues/One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer
Get A Haircut
Bad To The Bone
Twenty Dollar Gig
Move It On Over
Born To Be Bad
Rockin’ Into The Night
Back Where You Belong
Wild-Eyed Southern Boys
Back To Paradise/The Sound Of Your Voice/Somebody Like You/Honky Tonk Dancer/Teacher Teacher
You Keep Runnin’ Away
Like No Other Night
Feelin’ Stronger Every Day (Chicago Cover)
Ride The Storm (Don Barnes song)
If I’d Been The One
Caught Up In You
Hold On Loosely