Thursday, July 29, 2010

George Thorogood & The Destroyers @ Asser Levy Park

George Thorogood & The Destroyers; Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
@ Asser Levy Park
Brooklyn, NY - July 29, 2010

The meshegunah rebs at the schuls across the street huffed and puffed over the infernal racket coming from the Asser Levy Park bandshell, as that annoying Marty Markowitz put on yet another display of ungodly offense, this time in the form of that most bad of bad boys, that young whippersnapper named George Thorogood and his depraved, deafening Destroyers.

The only cultural export in the history of the state of Delaware, George Thorogood & the Destroyers put on a show that represented a full-circle reflection. When I was but a mere child, George Thorogood was the guy with the one 80's blues-rock hit "Bad to the Bone" and I knew so because Alvin & The Chipmunks redid the video. About 15 years later, the course of learning music revealed a new truth: George Thorogood was a meaty, snarling rock n roll machine, long honoring the greats like Bo Diddley and Hank Williams and then tearing it up in his own right. He was an underappreciated, unsung hero of what rock n roll meant, not just another stop on the nostalgia tour at the Westbury County Fair.

He showed it tonight. John Lee Hooker may still be the legend of choice via "One Bourbon...", but take "I Drink Alone" to see George himself steer an ode to whiskey abandon. And though he may never have been one for the "punks", "Gearjammer" is STILL as fast and whiplash-ready as anything can get. And to bring it home, the deep, jaunty "Madison Blues". The steady rolling man - the drama-less, almost story-less George Thorogood continues to remind people like yours truly that HOLY CRAP THIS GUY HAS MATTERED.

At the end of the opening set, Southside Johnny said "we're from New Jersey, don't hold it against us!" And we didn't. Because Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes made more like they were from New Orleans, as is their way to be after all these years. With horns strong and the boogie woogie piana a-fingered, this was a ripe way to kick it off.

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