Here's the Scoop: July 24, 2013

Just like old times...
As a general rule, I don’t “time travel” when it comes to my musical listening experiences. On occasion, I will make an exception. Such was the case over the weekend when I attended the Doobie Brothers show at the Belleayre Music Festival.

It seemed that everyone I know “of a certain age” (and older) would be going to the concert. Like me, most of these folks had a history with the Doobies, having seen the band play in earlier decades. There are plenty of bands that I saw play back in college days that I wouldn’t walk across the street to see — for free — but the Doobies are different.

The band was never political. They wrote a bunch of incredibly catchy hits and they seem like a good bunch of guys. What’s not to like?

Good times hold up
As a general rule, I would rather listen to a neighbor weed whacking for hours on end than tune in to “classic rock.” Again, the Doobies are an exception. I rarely pull my old vinyl recordings of the band, but I must admit that I never mind hearing the band’s music when I’m shopping in Freshtown. It could be my imagination, but I think the supermarket’s sound system plays a lot of Doobies.
While I was not counting the days and minutes until the concert, I was mildly looking forward to seeing the band after all these years. As an added bonus, the concert provided a nice diversion from my obsession with waiting for the Royal Baby to be born. Wow, talk about stress!

Ready to rock
The crowd for the Doobies was in a good mood and that only elevated (how appropriate) when the band took the stage. Just a few notes into the set, the audience was hooked on a ride back in musical time. I’m willing to bet that a huge percentage of the concert-goers had seen the Doobies before, perhaps multiple times. Some of them probably even remember those shows from the 1970s and ’80s!

The band appeared to genuinely be having fun and the playing was top-notch. The lyrics from songs that most folks probably hadn’t heard in years quickly came back to memory as the crowd sang along with most of the numbers.

For two hours, the clock was turned back and some of us surely imagined that we were still in college, hearing a band that was sitting atop the popular music charts.
Thinking back about the actual time that I saw the Doobies in college, I recalled that I had a big exam in my religion class the following day.

After last week’s show, I was fortunate to chat with the band and I recounting to founding member Patrick Simmons how in college I blew off studying for an important test so I could attend the the band’s show.
“So, how did you ever do on that test?” he asked.
“Well, because it was a Catholic school and I had seen my professor at the show, so I quoted from from one of your band’s biggest hits at the bottom of my test booklet: ‘Jesus is Just Alright With Me…Oh Yeah.’ And I prayed.”

My professor, who had really loved the show, took pity and said he’d “C” me through with a passing grade.
— Brian Sweeney