The anticipation for a great night of music was in the air at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, California on September 14, with the Doobie Brothers adding to the fantastic lineup of concerts for the inaugural season at the beautiful amphitheatre nestled in the heart of Wine Country. After an entertaining set by openers Occasional Mustache, who describe their sound as ‘Californicana’— “country-rock soaked in sun, surf, and bud,” the crowd was ready to party on this Saturday night show with the legendary band who need to be inducted soon into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Doobies set the tone from the start with classic cuts ‘Jesus Is Just Alright With Me,’ ‘Rockin’ Down the Highway,’ ‘Take Me In Your Arms,’ ‘Depending On You’ and ‘Clear As the Driven Snow.’ The crowd was with them the whole way, ready for a great evening of quality rock. (click to enlarge picture)
That was followed by the tracks ‘Brighter Day’ and the title track from their 2010 album ‘World Gone Crazy.’ The Doobies went back to 1975 next for ‘Neal’s Fandango’ and then a fantastic acoustic sit-down with Patrick Simmons and John McFee blending together like the fine wine of the Vina Robles Winery. (click photo to enlarge)
Patrick Simmons handled the lead vocal next on ‘Slack Key Soquiel Rag,’ as the crowd’s appreciation continued at that Saturday night party level, with a standing ovation.
The Doobies followed that with amazing renditions of ‘Eyes of Silver,’ ‘Takin’ It to the Streets,’ and blues leaning ‘Don’t Start Me Talkin.’ Long time members Tom Johnston (Vocals/Guitar), Patrick Simmons (Vocals/Guitar), John McFee (Guitar/Strings/Vocals), Marc Russo (Saxophone) and Guy Allison (Keyboards/Vocals) all showcased their amazing individual talents, as did bassist John Cowan (with the band since 2010) and drummers Ed Toth (since 2005) and Tony Pia (since 2010).
‘Black Water’ and ‘Long Train Runnin’ followed, with an encore after the crowd chants of “Doobies…Doobies…Doobies!,” brought the band back to wrap up the night with ‘China Grove,’ ‘Road Angel,’ and ‘Listen to the Music.’
It was truly a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance from The Doobies. Let’s hope the induction committee sees fit to elect the band in 2014! For more photos of The Doobie Brothers give the Marshall of Rock Facebook page a like, and for the remainder of the concert season check out ww.vinaroblesamphitheatre.com/concerts Special thanks to Caroline Stegner.