When you’ve been on the road for 50 years there’s sure to be generations of fans, and the snaking line of punters down Flinders St waiting to get into the Forum was a testament to the appeal George Thorogood and the Destroyers have had over the decades.
That eagerness to get into the sold-out venue and plant feet with a cold drink was rewarded with Aussie blues guitarist Hamish Anderson set the tone with some groovin’ blues.
His three-piece band’s 45-minute set was enough to whet the appetite of the full house and gathered new fans along the way.
But everyone was waiting for George, and Barry McGuire’s Eve Of Destruction was cranked up and started a sing along to bring out the band.
The aging blues star and his bandmates shuffled rather than leapt on to stage, and there was an early moment where one could be justified in thinking the old fella, wearing aviators and a bandana, might need a chair.
It was a few minutes into Rock Party before the sunglasses were flung overhead and the bandana was flicked off, and he let his fingers do the heavy lifting with his trademark blues and frequent banter.
He ripped into the band’s latest release, a cover of Bo Diddley’s Who Do You Love?, followed by Shot Down and Night Time.
The Destroyers pay homage to drinking and youthful rebelliousness, which at times seemed comedic seeing they’re all aged either side of 70, but it was lapped by an audience clearly reliving their party days.
From House Rent Blues they slid into One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer. Fortunately, the classic was finished before what was supposed to be a jam, while George took a break off stage, but was muffled as a sound glitch left the band jamming away oblivious to the fault.
With that finally fixed, the band were back at it and the house were all shouting Get A Haircut.
Born To Be Bad was always going to be the highlight and the band stretched out this classic before slipping into a Tequila.
Hamish Anderson joined the band on stage for Hank Williams’ Move It On Over, which was a guitar love-in before they all left stage.
The band re-emerged to ice the night with Born To Be Bad and farewell a satisfied audience.
Oddly the curtains drew with Advance Australia Fair and George saluting the crowd.
The Destroyers were back at the Forum the next night for another sell-out, which is testament the band’s longevity and fan base here.
For a wet and miserable Melbourne night, some grooving dirty blues was perfect.