Clad in his trademark dark t-shirt and dark pants, George Thorogood on Oct. 19 looked out over the exuberant audience inside the Pavilion at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.
“It took us 40 years to get here,’’ said Delaware’s favorite musical son. “We’re going to enjoy every minute.’’
Clearly Thorogood, along with his band, the Destroyers, enjoyed his one hour, 45-minute “Rock Party’’ tour set that included such staples as “Bad to the Bone,’’ “Move It On Over,’’ “I Drink Alone,’’ and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.’’
Thorogood showed off his powerful blend of rock and blues – deeply rooted in his early influences, including the Rolling Stones (he opened for the Stones during their 1981 U.S. Tour and does some Jagger-esque strutting on stage) and Blues legends John Lee Hooker, Hound Dog Taylor, Muddy Waters and Robert Lockwood, Jr.
“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,’’ written in by Rudy Toombs in 1953, probably is more identified with Thorogood than Hooker, who recorded it in 1966; Thorogood penned “Bad to the Bone’’ with Muddy Waters in mind, but when Waters rejected it, Bo Diddley picked it up.
Thorogood opened for Lockwood (and other blues legends) in his early days playing gigs on the East Coast. Lockwood is the only man who learned to play guitar from Robert Johnson. So when you’re watching Thorogood, you’re only two degrees of separation removed from the ultimate bluesman.
“Move It On Over,’’ which appears on Thorogood’s 1978 album of the same name, was written by Hank Williams in 1947. It can be argued that it’s the first rock and roll ever written. Thorogood’s version shows his ability to take country-leaning songs and make them his own. Consider “Wanted Man,’’ co-written by Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan; and the Williams classic, “Pictures From Life’s Other Side,’’ that appears on Thorogood’s terrific 2017 solo album, “Party of One.’’
“One Bourbon,’’ is the only song from “Party of One,’’ that Thorogood has performed on the “Rock Party.’’ tour. It would have been nice to hear tunes such as “Tallahassee Women,’’ or “Born With The Blues,’’ from “Party of One,’’ but as Thorogood told an interviewer, “I’m not hired to be a solo act.’’
Indeed. Thorogood and the Destroyers didn’t disappoint at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, tightly blasting through “Get a Haircut,’’ Gear Jammer,’ a cover of the Strangelove’s “Night Time,’’ and Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?’’
They concluded with the crowd-pleasing “Move It On Over,’’ with “Born to be Bad,’’ as an encore.
The Rock Party tour showcases all that has been great about Thorogood’s 40 years on the road. And it proves, that age 68, he’s still bad to the bone.