May 31, 2015

George Thorogood / Brian Setzer - Pier Six

By Bob Suehs

www.rocknrollexperience.com

George Thorogood / Brian Setzer

May 31, 2015

Pier Six

Baltimore, MD

Brian Setzer Set List: Rumble In Brighton, Vinyl Records, Stray Cat Strut, Nothing Is A Sure Thing, Stiletto Cool, ‘49 Mercury Blues, Great Balls of Fire, Drive Like Lightning, Slow Down / Folsom Prison, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Runaway Boys, 8 Track, Fishnet Stockings, Let’s Shake, Sleepwalk, Rock This Town/Train Kepta Rollin

The Blues met Rockabilly when Brian Setzer & George Thorogood kicked off their 2015 Summer Tour which played Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday, May 31, 2015.

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Mild temperatures made this outdoor concert an enjoyable waterfront experience. The show was not sold out and the crowd was on the older side which made sense considering Thorogood & Setzer both started their careers towards the end of the 70’s/early 80’s. The venue website stated that gates opened at 5 PM and the show started at 6:30 PM; my assumption was that if the show started at 6:30 PM and there was an opening act before Setzer/Thorogood I could arrive at 6:30 PM on the nose and not miss a note from Setzer or Thorogood. I made it to Pier Six by 6:35 PM and while I was at the box office picking up my photo pass I heard what sounded like “Stray Cat Strut”. I asked the box office attendant,

“Is Brian Setzer on now?”

The Box office attendant stated that the show had started early and Brian was already into his 3rd song. Brian sounded amazing and his band were super tight!

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Playing an interesting mix of covers and Stray Cats classics, Brian played effortlessly. Towards the end of his set Brian took off his guitar and flipped it...this was almost a costly error when Brian came within a second of dropping the vintage guitar which was used throughout much of Setzer’s career!

Being totally honest with you, Setzer was a hard act to follow and I felt bad for George Thorogood because the technical style of Brian Setzer is just hard to compete with. George and his Destroyers came out swingin’ with a set that was comprised almost completely of hits and standard blues numbers that the entire crowd knew!

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Watching Thorogood onstage it was clear that he’s a ham and loves the attention that the crowd gives him. Thorogood’s stage persona is clearly influenced by Mick Jagger and when he places his hand on his hip it’s a direct ode to the style of Jagger!

Watching Thorogood onstage is an absolute ode to legends like Bo Diddly and John Lee Hooker who George clearly idolized in his formative years. “I Drink Alone” was played early in the set and received a huge crowd roar as did “One Scotch..”.

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“Bad To The Bone” was the nights closer and what surprised me the most about this show was that it was all over by 9:30 PM! All in all it was a great night to witness some stunning guitar playing and see 2 living legends perform on the same stage.

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