Emily Adair | Editor-in-Chief
Oct. 11, 2015; 9:40 a.m.
The Doobie Brothers likened their show to a ho-down with “psychedelic folk rock” and “Hippie redneck” music during their 16-song performance on Oct. 10.
Student attendance was scarce for the rock concert held during Lindenwood University’s Fall Break, but more than a thousand members of the public packed into the theater to hear their favorite Doobie hits. According to box office employees, 1,140 tickets had been sold an hour before the show.
The Doobie Brothers required no introduction, playing three songs before saying a word to the audience.
From the first song, “Jesus is Just Alright”, the crowd’s cheers and whistles were as deafening as the two drum sets on stage.
Vocalist Tom Johnston greeted the audience after “Dependin’ on You”. He said the band hadn’t been to “this neck of the woods” in a while, and the performers were going to “sing it Doobie style, which covers a lot.”
The performance featured Johnston and Pat Simmons on guitar and vocals, Marc Russo on saxophone, John Cowan on bass and vocals, and Ed Toth and Tony Pia on drums. John McFee showcased his versatility by singing and playing guitar, steel guitar, fiddle and harmonica. Bill Payne of the band Little Feat joined the Doobies on keyboard.
Although the theater didn’t have a dance floor, several audience members swayed and bounced from their seats. Before the acoustic performance of “Spirit”, Johnston said the song was like a ho-down.
“If you get up and express yourselves, that’s perfectly okay,” he said.
The energy of the crowd only picked up from there. The audience gave a standing ovation for “Don’t Start Me Talkin’” and sang along audibly to “Black Water” and “Long Train Running”.
The musicians took a choreographed hop to the side as they played their instruments, showcasing an on-stage chemistry that could only exist among a group that’s been together for more than 45 years.
Once the stage lights shut off but the house lights didn’t come on, the audience expected an encore. What they didn’t expect was to hear three more songs.
When the performers took the stage again, Johnston asked, “Wanna keep rockin’?”
The crowd shouted “yeah” in unison, and the Doobies rocked three extra hits.
The first was “China Grove”, which had Pia jumping out of his seat as he smacked his drumsticks together. The crowd followed his beat and clapped steadily through much of the song.
Next the group played “Road Angel”, during which Cowan faced McFee and the men strummed each other’s instruments.
Lastly, “Listen to the Music” had the audience singing louder than before, and the band let the crowd take over.
The Doobie Brothers will perform in Naperville, Illinois, on Nov. 15 and Asheville, North Carolina, on Dec. 12. The band’s recent album, Southbound, features musicians like Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley and Toby Keith.
The next show to be featured in the Lindenwood Theater is Legally Blonde the Musical on Oct. 29-31.