October 25, 2016 The Doobie Brothers Bring Feel Good Rock To The Paramount Huntington, NY 10-13-16
The Doobie Brothers have been making feel good Rock-n-Roll music for over five decades. Garnering a very impressive catalog of music, they have attained three multi-Platinum, seven Platinum, and fourteen Gold records. In fact, their 1976 Best Of The Doobies release sold more than twelve million copies, earning them a prestigious Diamond record. It is no surprise that they have won four Grammy Awards over the years, and with their incredible vocal harmonies, the band was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame in 2004.
With a brief break in the 1980s, The Doobie Brothers have continuously been touring since the late 1990s, and have not looked back since. Sustaining several lineup changes through the years, they consist of founding members Patrick Simmons (guitars/vocals) and Tom Johnson (guitars/vocals) who are joined by John McFee (guitars/vocals/fiddle/pedal steel/dobro), Bill Payne (keyboards), John Cowan (bass/vocals), Marc Russo (saxophone), Ed Toth (drums), and Tony Pia (drums). Still very active touring around, on Thursday, October 13, 2016, The Doobie Brothers made a stop at The Paramount in Huntington, New York. A warm autumn evening, generations of fans filled the nearly sold out venue ready for good music and good times.
Paving the way for the nigth was opening act Mark Newman. A singer-songwriter from New York City, he is also an ace stringsman who has mastered the guitar, lap steel, and dobro, as well as the mandolin. Aside from his own project, Newman has worked with well-known artists Sam Moore, John Oates, Sting, Elvis Costello, The Edge, and Gloria Gaynor, just to name a few.
Accompanied on stage by Naomi Margolin (guitar/vocal), Tony Montalbo (bass/vocal), and John Michel (drums/vocal), they joined Newman to bring his music to life. Performing several tracks from his 2010 release, Walls Of Jericho, they included the title track, “Under The Sun,” “Until The Morning Comes,” and “Fire On The Water.” In addition, Newman and his band played a couple of songs from his 2006 release, Must Be A Pony, “Mean Season” and “Goin’ Underground.” Before going into “Scapegoat,” Newman joked with the audience, “My father had a criminal demeanor, even though he never killed anyone.” Laughing as the audience chuckled along with him, he proved to have a good sense of humor to compliment his smooth guitar playing and warm inviting vocals. Enjoying Newman’s performance, the audience clapped after every song and cheered loudly upon the set’s conclusion. Newman consistently plays shows around the New York area, so be sure to check him out.
During the intermission, the floor of The Paramount filled up with fans all ready to rock to the old time classics from the one and only Doobie Brothers. Always welcomed on Long Island, the last time the band visited the area was back in June of this year when they hit Nikon at Jones Beach Theater with Journey and Dave Mason. That in mind, as soon as the lights went dim, a huge backdrop banner was backlit showing the San Francisco Bay Bridge, a landmark of The Doobie Brothers hometown, and the crowd went wild, cheering and screaming.
Greeted by smiling and waving, they started the evening with crowd favorite “Jesus Is Just Alright” before “Rockin’ Down the Highway,” both from 1972’s Toulouse Street. Already having everyone on their feet, “Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)” was followed by “Another Park, Another Sunday,” which featured a sweet saxophone solo by Russo. Furthering the excitement, The Doobie Brothers treated the room to the four part harmonies of “Clear As The Driven Snow,” from 1973’s The Captain And Me.
Taking a quick break from the music, Johnston shouted, “Thank you very much!” as everyone’s cheers came pouring down before the set moved on into “Spirit.” After that, Johnston took a moment to talk about one of their newer releases, 2010’s World Gone Crazy. Their last studio album of original music, they offered its title track and once again had the crowd bopping in the isles. Continuing to engage the audience, Johnson curiously asked, “Is everyone having a good time tonight?” Receiving an overwhelming positive response showing they were in fact having a good time, the band took them back in time with “Eyes of Silver,” then got real heavy and funky with “Dark Eyed Cajun Woman,” from 1973’s The Captain And Me.
Moving along, following “Sweet Maxine,” another off of Stampede, Simmons introduced their Keyboardist, Bill Payne. This is when the rest of the band, except for Payne and Toth, departed from the stage, as a spotlight shined solely on Payne during an awesome solo. After several minutes, the stage lights lit up over Toth as he accented Payne’s playing with his driving beat. Returning to the stage as a full band, they went into a crowd favorite, “Takin’ It To The Streets,” then rocked out “The Doctor,” from 1989’s Cycles.
Raising the energy to a new level, the first few notes of the next song were played, the cheering became deafening, and as soon as the vocals kicked in, the fans were singing along to the hit “Black Water.” At times, the band would stop singing and all you could hear were the fans singing to every word. Meanwhile, McFee played some blistering fiddle and the fans cheered louder. Then, on “Long Train Runnin’,” McFee broke out the harmonica and an all-out jam session ensued. The groove was thick while Russo weaved his way among the band, while taking a moment to jam on his saxophone with each of them. Going into another hit, “China Grove,” they appeared to be waving goodnight as the band left the stage for several minutes. Shouting for “One more song,” The Doobie Brothers soon returned for what would be a two song encore. Before beginning, Johnston asked, “You wanna keep rockin’?” and with a roar of cheers filling the room, the band played “Without You.” Asking if everyone was having a good time one last time, Johnson received more positive responses to which he exclaimed, “Let me hear you!” With even more cheering, he said, “We have one more song for ya, sing along if you know it.” With that, they went into the ever popular “Listen to the Music.” Naturally, everyone knew it and were up dancing at their seats and in the aisles, singing along to all the words. Once the song concluded, more cheers rained down as the entire band assembled at the front of the stage, joined together, and bowed to the audience as they exited for the final time.
The Doobie Brothers gave their fans a fantastic performance and treated them to the rich harmonies and master playing they are so well know for. Minus Tony Pia, who did not perform with the band for the evening, each member showed superb musicianship throughout the set. They had such an upbeat energy and smiled so often that it was infectious, so infectious that the audience was smiling and bouncing to the music all night long. A classic dose of good old Rock-n-Roll, The Doobie Brothers are touring the United States throughout November, so be sure to catch them for a really fun time.