Review & Set List: Doobie Brothers @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Real musicians playing real instruments performing songs they wrote is becoming rarer as the years go on.

Bands like The Doobie Brothers represent an excellence in music that simply doesn’t seem to be a priority for artists today.

The term Classic Rock is tossed around almost as an insult with acts like the Doobies but the dictionary definition of the word means “excellence over a period of time” so The Doobie Brothers deserve to be called ‘Classic’.

The band features founding members Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons who together wrote most of the songs. John McFee is with the band but didn’t join until the ninth album ‘One Step Closer’.

The surprise in the line-up is Little Feat legend Bill Payne, quite possibly the greatest American keyboard player of all-time. Payne joined in August 2015 so this was his first Australian tour with the band.

The Doobie Brothers set list focuses on the Johnston/Simmons songs. These days the band bypasses the Michael McDonald era despite the McDonald flavored Minute By Minute being their biggest album.

McDonald diverted The Doobie Brothers away from their signature sound. With such a rich catalogue of Simmons and Johnston songs, songs like What A Fool Believes and Minute By Minute aren’t even missed.

The set list:

Main Set
  • Jesus Is Just Alright (from Toulouse Street, 1972)
  • Rockin’ Down The Highway (from Toulouse Street, 1972)
  • Take Me In Your Arms (from Stampede, 1975)
  • Dark Eyed Cajun Woman (from The Captain and Me, 1973)
  • Sweet Maxine (from Stampede, 1975)
  • Eyes of Silver (from What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, 1974)
  • Clear As The Driven Snow (from The Captain and Me, 1973)
  • Takin’ It To The Streets (from Takin’ It To The Streets, 1976)
  • The Doctor (from Cycles, 1989)
  • Black Water (from What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, 1974)
  • Long Train Runnin’ (from The Captain and Me, 1973)
  • China Grove (from The Captain and Me, 1973)
  • Without You (from The Captain and Me, 1973)
  • Listen To The Music (from Toulouse Street, 1972)

1 comment

Patrick Fitzgerald said...

John McFee replaced Skunk Baxter on 1979's Minute By Minute Tour. Also, 'Takin It To The Streets ' was written and sung by Mike McDonald and has been played at every Doobies show since 1975.

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