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Concert Reviews:
- August 17, 2005
- November, 1993

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www.georgethorogood.com

George Thorogood
A Concert Review

April, 1991

The Star Plaza Theatre

Merrillville, IN

A Review by
The Dude on the Left &

The Dude on the Right

The Dude on the Right,
And Awaaaaayyyyy We Go!!! It was a most excellent night last Thursday with this dude getting to see not one, not two, but three bands all in the course of some five hours. Now, you ask "How the hell could that happen, there was only Jak Makral in the Bog?" Well, let me tell you.

The evening began with me and my buddy climbing into the dude-mobile and cruising down to beautiful Merrillville, Indiana. The occasion - the return of George Thorogood and the Destroyers to the Star Plaza after a two year hiatus. We arrived in Merrillville about 7:30 for the 8:00 show, stopped at a White Castle's for a quick bite, and cruised on into the parking lot.

Tickets in hand, who inside did we bump into but the boyz from Shuddup 'N Drive. Some pleasant conversation followed, as we heard in the background a lot of people going "Aren't those the guys from Shuddup 'N Drive?" Wow, these guys really are famous. But the lights went down, and stumbling to our seats we went. I don't know how it happened, but I got stuck sitting next to some big fat white lady who kept spilling her fat into my seat, while her boyfriend put his arm around her and tried to fondle my arm thinking it was hers. YUUUUCCCCKKK!

The opening act was a guy called Elvin Bishop, a bluesy, jazzy kinda guy with a pretty cool back up band. You gotta like the rock and roll business. Where else could you stand in front of an audience and talk about your fishing license, write a song about your cool dog, or goin' fishin', and still have the crowd yelling for more. Even during the Goin' Fishin' song, he jumped into the audience to find his catch of the evening, and snagged this good-looking brunette and took her on stage to play his guitar while he did the fingerings. It was way cool, and I give Elvin Bishop TWO THUMBS UP. He's a pretty cool guy.

Then came a short brake as the made way for Lonesome George. Much to my delight, that fat lady and her "drunk as a skunk" boyfriend departed, not to return the entire evening. Don't really know what happened to them, but I didn't miss them at all.

Finally, the lights went down again, the stage was filled with a purple glow, and Lonesome and his band started the show.

George Thorogood is one of those guys who is there to have a good time. With definite a definite influences from the Chuck Berry type of music and the Chicago blues type of music, he definitely puts on one hell of a rock-em, sock-em show.

Highlighting a few songs from his latest release "Boogie People," songs like "Born in Chicago" and "If You don't Start Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave)," got the crowd on it's feet, but it was the older Thorogood material that really rocked the house. Songs like "I Drink Alone," "You Talk Too Much," "Madison Blues," "Born to Be Bad," and the traditional story followed by "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," got the crowd on its feet, throwing roses at George, and trying to stage dive. Then there was a rousing "The Sky is Crying" showing his bluesy talent with a slide.

George was definitely in fine form musically, although he has put on a few pounds in the last few years, and delighted the crowd with his spins, knee drops, and rockin' guitar work. And the rest of the Destroyers weren't bad either. The sax solos by Hank "Hurricane" Carter had the crowd excited, while Steve Chrismar through in a few solos that almost were on par with the licks of Thorogood.

Needeless to say, Lonesome George and the Destroyers get TWO HUGE MONDO THUMBS UP! What an awesome show!!!!!

Then, back into the car and into the Hermann Hall parking lot. Down the stairs and into the Bog I went to catch the end of Jak Makral. I guess I really didn't miss too much, with the same sort of music they've been playing for the past few times they've been here. Seems Jak Makral jumped on the Black Crows bandwagon too, playing a few songs made popular by the BC's. They did get the people on the dance floor, as usual, and through in a few more songs by Elvis, etc. I guess I can't really say too much about them, I wasn't there that long, but from what I'm told, it was basically the same Jak Makral show.

So, hell, I suppose I'll give them at least One Thumb Up for the effort. They aren't that bad.

And that's it for me this week. It was an awesome Thursday night last week, one that goes down in the pages of The Dude on the Right's history. Next week in the bog is a band called Swoo. We really didn't like them at all last time they came around, but hey, maybe in that year or so they've changed. And, coming soon, or so we hear, is a big bashola for Keith's graduation at the end of classes. The rumor is still being confirmed, and conflicting reports give us different places and times, but we'll be sure to keep you informed.

And as the semester comes to a close, if you haven't learned it by now, you probably aren't going to learn it now. Probably should've dropped that class. So, what else is there to do - Go to the Bog and have a fun time because it can't get any worse. And finally, Party Smart, or don't party, and as always, Rellim Reeb, Rellim Reeb!!!!

The Dude on the Left
OOOOWWWWW!!! Anyone get the number of that semi?? Didn't think so. Well anyway, last Thursday saw the return of Jak Makral, a Bog favorite. They opened up by stating that they hadn't been here in a LLLOOOONNNNGGGG time (at least six months I'm sure). But to my surprise, their impending fame hasn't totally gone to their heads, and they have taken time to learn some new stuff, but I'll get to that I'm sure.

We were taking bets on the set opener, and I was amazed that we were all wrong, They opened with a pretty decent, albeit shortened, "Purple Haze" by Jimi. They went into some original about Mary and her little lamb, then proceeded into your fairly regular Jak Mak set. We got some Violent Femmes in the form of "Add It Up" then we got a "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet. Then we got a couple a Jak originals like "Walking on Water" and "Spanish Rhumba". Then we got a pretty unusual mix of tunes in a BoDeans Medley. They started out with "If I Could Hold You", and while the guitars jammed a bit, they went into "Caught in a Trap", by the King, back into the BoDeans, then into that disco anthem "Kung Fu Fighting" then back into the BoDeans. WOW! That put and end to the first set, and the crowd was definitely primed for more.

The second set was pretty jammin as well. They played some Stevie Ray, and another REM song, "Finest Worksong" They also included some more originals like "I Like It", and "The Ballad of King Willie". Now I don't know how many of you actually take the time to actually listen to the words to any of their tunes, but after two years and probably seven Jak Mak shows I finally figured out what the King Willie song is about... his big club. I guess I'm a little slow. It's good to see that everyone is playing the Black Crows these days, and Jak Mak is no exception, including "Twice as Hard" in the second set.

The third and final set really separated the men from the boyz so to speak. Everyone was having a blast, some were having too much fun, others way too little. But Jak Mak, led by the lead singer that Kate Terbucci wants really bad, kept the crowd rockin' hard with a few more originals and another song by the King. They even had a chance to play that Otis Redding hit, "Hard to Handle',

All in all it was an awesome evening, and everyone had fun (even the guy who was de-pants while standing on a table in from of the whole world) and I'd be mistaken if a band that lets everyone have so much fun got any less that TWO THUMBS UP! Yep, I'm sure that comes as a real surprise to a lot of you out there that have heard, or read our views of Jak Mak before, but I believe that each night is new, and there are always exceptions.

I guess that'll be about it for yet another exciting installment of the Unknown Reviewers. Oh yeah, shame shame Mr. D for trying to undo Ms. B's bra on the dance floor.... tacky tacky... Next week we get to see Swoo.. a band that played cool tunes last time they were here, but either lacked experience, or decent equipment... hopefully things will be a little different and we'll actually get to hear the words to the songs. Who knows. Well, until next week, as always, I'll C.U.Next Thursday so we can pack the Bog to the Walls. (Nice beer phase diagram Rapunzel). Oh wait, I forgot somethin'. There is a rumor that there is going to be a party to end all parties to celebrate Keith's graduation. We hear Shuddup and Drive will be playing a record length of time and there will be more beer than anyone could possibly consume. We're not sure of the exact date yet, but you can be sure that this will be the event of the year, so clear your calendars, and we'll keep you posted.

 

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