A Concert like Thorogood’s

Posted: August 4, 2012 in Interviews
Tags: , ,

By Chris Shapiro
August 2012

Chris Shapiro, Rock ‘N Roll legend George Thorogood and Adam Burns at Stage AE.

There are several angles I could take to write this review.  The most obvious and easiest would be to name the songs played, give some descriptions and tell the reader how the band sounded.  But that’s been done before.

Besides there’s something you should know about George Thorogood.  When he’s out on the tour road, he’s promising you his best.  He told me he “owes” it to his fans to give them his best because they have decided to spend their time and their money on him. Even if it’s only one fan, Thorogood will get up on that stage and bring the house down because he has a fan in the audience.

I’ve attended rock concerts before but I never understood the true meaning behind them until I saw Thorogood at Stage AE in Pittsburgh.

It was during Thorogood’s performance of “Get A Haircut” that I realized what I saw when I looked out at his audience.  I didn’t see a crowd.  I saw people.

Here, people had gathered from all walks of life.  The rich stood with the poor.  Atheists shared the grounds with Christians.  Democrats were gathered together with Republicans.

It was Thorogood and his music that brought them together.  There’s no other event that can compare to the gathering power of a concert.  Music transcends all barriers because it penetrates the heart and soul.

Jack Russell of Great White once told me that music is a “celebration of life.” It was at Thorogood’s concert that I saw the “celebration” Russell spoke of.

We’re constantly walled in by our lives and jobs.  We’ve become nine to fivers in a world where there is less time to do a growing number of things.  Everyone has  become so concerned with the matters of this world that they have forgotten how to live in the moment.  So many of us aren’t living, we’re simply surviving.

The rock concert is the last true form of freedom.  I’ve often said there’s no “ism” in Rock ‘n Roll.  You have Communism, Socialism, Marxism, heck even favoritism.  But there is no “ism” in Rock ‘n Roll.  That’s because Rock ‘n Roll frees people.  It allows people to break free from the mundane world and truly live life in the moment.

Seeing Thorogood perform and engage his audience, I witnessed this freedom unfold.  The people were living in the moment as his music broke the chains of worry they had around them.  During the moment, you weren’t worried about the mortgage, or car payment, you had become an active member of a rock concert, a Thorogood rock concert.

Thorogood made a remark to a man in the audience that summed up this freedom, “Man, you have the right to enjoy yourself!”

I saw complete strangers dancing together to “I Drink Alone.” Nearly, every member of the audience left their seat when Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” rift pulsated out into the summer night, while “we love you Georgie!” echoed back.  This was life.

It isn’t a form of escapism like a movie where you sit passively watching a performance filmed months ago by an actor a thousand miles away.  A rock concert is happening, as Van Halen would say, “right here, right now.”  You’re on your feet. You’re cheering.  You’re singing, even if you don’t know all the words.  You’re an active participate because, if you’re not, you might just miss the best part of the show.

The concert is more engaging that any sporting event.  The athlete has his or her eye on the ball and is concentrated on the game.  Thorogood has his eye on you and is concentrating on you, his audience, his fan.

Music is the one thing that civilizations around the world, since the drawn of civilization, have been making.  As humans, we have an inner need for it.  It’s the key to unlocking our fullest potential of life.  It can speak to us in a way like no other medium can.

I know Thorogood understands this power of, not only his music, but all music.  That’s what has kept him out on the tour road for over 35 years.  He knows what his music means to his millions of fans.

“It feels good to be a live,” Thorogood said in-between songs. I promise you, you will never feel more alive than at a George Thorogood concert.

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