Friday, August 16, 2013

Concert Review: George Thorogood with Buddy Guy at Freedom Hill

George Thorogood & The Destroyers threw a Rock N' Roll party in Sterling Heights Thursday night bringing blues legend Buddy Guy along for the festivities.  Too bad most people missed it...

Buddy Guy opened up the evening right at 7:30 with an all-out lesson in the history of the Blues.  At 77 years old, this guy just JAMS and is the consummate showman.  Since the pavilion was less than a quarter full during his set, he and the band worked mighty hard to capture the attention of the lucky few in attendance by ripping through a set packed with action.  'Meet Me in Chicago' was a musical masterpiece, with absolutely blistering guitar work by Guy.

With wireless guitar and microphone in hand, the veteran "youngster" ventured up into the audience demanding attention.  Strolling up the aisles, across the seats and out into the lawn, Guy played personally to almost every single fan in the amphitheater before returning the stage.  With a nod to John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Eric Clapton, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix, the set ended all too soon and easily could have carried on for another hour.

George Thorogood & The Destroyers proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a REAL ROCK BAND.  With early 80's videos as a backdrop, Thorogood really doesn't look much different than he did back then and he sounds the same.  Cranking out hit after hit kept the crowd in a frenzy, and the highlight for me was a smoking version of 'Madison Blues.'  While Thorogood made mention that it was his first time at Freedom Hill and hoped "for a long and lasting relationship", I wonder if he'll ever want to come back...

I haven't been to Freedom Hill since 1980, (yes I said 1980!) and the intimate venue has all the amenities that you'd look for on a concert night.  Great acoustics, wide comfortable seats, easy access to food and drink plus free parking.  Unfortunately, the one thing this place seemed to be missing was PAYING CUSTOMERS!  If you were there last night...Great.  But if you were there and left early...WTF?!

Memo to concert goers that leave a show early:

I realize that we're all getting old, but when the performers are busting their ass off like The Destroyers were last night, why would you leave during the show?  A steady file of people starting heading for the exits starting at around 10:10 PM.  The fact that the majority of customers were gone before 10:30 could not have been lost on George Thorogood.  Wow, what a waste.

Hey Destroyers, you killed it last night and I'm thoroughly glad I stayed.
Keep on rocking.
I, for one, appreciate you.


  1. Dude, the wife and I were there but we left after hearing Thorogood destroy the House Rent Blues. Johnny Lee was probably rolling in his grave after that. I'm an old blues fan and went to see BG. I've seen him about ten times now and I was not disappointed and enjoyed his show. Three chord bands like the Destroyers don't do it for me.

    1. Fair enough Joe...
      First off, thanks for reading.

      In today's world of autotune, click tracks and pre-recorded backing vocals, I always appreciate a real rock band playing real music.

      As far a John Lee Hooker goes, who else is out there even TALKING about the great old blues players, let alone still playing their tunes. And how about BRINGING them out on tour with them like the great Buddy Guy? You have to love Thorogood for never wavering from his mission: Keep On Rocking the Blues!

      In my humble opinion...

  2. I left the show as soon as Buddy was done. did not think ANYONE should of followed up his great performance, especially not a DB like Thorogood.

    felt sorry for all the people who were not in there seats for BG, as I am sure it was better than the ''headliner''

    nice site/blog/review, keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Steve!

      Buddy Guy was phenomenal.
      He easily could have, and probably should have, been the headliner.

      Brush your teeth with Rock N' Roll,

  3. Looking back my db remark was a little harsh (lol) but I am a serious BG fan and believe he should be the headliner no matter who else is on the bill, just on general principle,for his longevity, contributions to the music community in general, infectious smile (man he loves his job) and just being the coolest cat ever.

    Check out his new 2 disc set, it really is worth the download.


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