The Doobie Brothers crank out “Dangerous’ to open the show at HOB. (Photo by Brian Howle)
By Brian M. Howle
The best of the best come our way here on the coast of South Carolina with quiet regularity, as the House Of Blues has come to spoil those who enjoy great music on a regular – or part-time – basis.
Last week was no exception, as The Doobie Brothers brought their legendary live performance to the HOB Music Venue on Friday, March 9, 2007.
I always hate it for folks who wait until the last minute to buy tickets to a show at HOB … because, when you’re a ‘70s rock icon band with oodles of Top 10 albums and singles, you need to live up to the hype – which isn’t easy after 30 or so long, hard years of touring.
And when your show sells out the joint, you dang sure better give the folks their money’s worth.
No problemo, kids.
With original members Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons fronting this formidable group, those wonder years of yesterday came roaring back to life with a renewed vigor. Along with John McFee on guitar/steel pedal guitar/fiddle/vocals; Skylark on bass/vocals; Guy Allison on keyboards/vocals; Marc Russo on sax; and Mike Hossack and Ed Toth on drums, the Doobies put on a show for the packed, sold-out crowd – above and beyond the call of doobie duty.
The Doobies his the stage running with the raucous, upbeat pickin’ of “Dangerous” (the only worthwhile thing to come from the Brian Bosworth Stone Cold movie was this catchy soundtrack single) kicked the masses into a higher gear, and frothed them up for the likes of “Another Park Another Sunday”, “Takin’ It To The Streets” (Damn, Pat can nail that sucker on vocals just as good as that other dude), “Little Bitty Pretty One”, “Blackwater” (with the now obligatory verse change of Patrick’s “Carolina moon gonna keep on shinin’ on me” inserted to keep the faithful paying attention), and “Long Train Running”.
There are seven or eight songs that I consider to be the greatest songs every written – and I still contend that the Doobies’ “South City Midnight Lady” resides within that laurel, as Patrick Simmons’ vocals, John McFee’s steel pedal guitar and the entire band produced a studio-quality rendition for the fortunate folks in attendance.
And for true UberDoobies, there was a sense of remembrance for Keith Knudsen (drummer from 1974-82), who passed away from pneumonia in February of 2005.
The happily-drained crowd beckoned for the encore, as all-time sing-a-longs “China Grove”, “I Can’t Live Without You”, and the ultimate prerequisite for any guitarist/vocalist just starting out, “Listen to the Music”.
Let this be a lesson to those who waited too long and missed out: Next time the Doobs hit the HOB up in North Myrtle Beach, get those tickets early and often. Because shows like this one won’t last forever.
Except in our collective, musical memories.
The article originally appeared in Alternatives NewsMagazine March 15, 20007.