The Doobie Brothers Bud Gardens 2022The Doobie Brothers 50th Anniversary Tour hit London’s Budweiser Gardens this past Thursday June 30 after a two year postponement due to the pandemic, and they didn’t disappoint! Original members Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston as well as long time member John McFee, with a reunited Michael McDonald, played a 24-song hit filled extravaganza that covered the band’s entire career from the opening song Nobody off their eponymous debut through their big hit days with McDonald and a few new songs from last year’s Liberté.

The band sounded great, but the acoustics at an arena like Bud Gardens can sometimes be a challenge, especially when dealing with a band of that size, with all the layered harmonies.

 

The debate still rages over which version of the band was better: pre-McDonald or the McDonald years. I personally love both and don’t know why there’s even a debate. We are so lucky to get this version of the band right now and everyone appearing healthy and vibrant in their seventh decade of life. During the band introductions, the loudest noise was made for McDonald, not because the fans favour him, but because they’re happy that he’s back to make the band complete.

Patrick Simmons introduced the song Better Days by talking a bit about the challenges of the last couple years, but telling the audience that these are better days and we can make this world a better place.

The set ended very strong with seven of their biggest hits, and the band encouraging fans to sing back and forth during the a cappella section in Black Water. A nice little surprise was an instrumental interlude of Paul Simon’s Still Crazy by sax player Marc Russo and McDonald before the final two songs; mega hits Takin’ It To The Streets and Listen To The Music. The tour continues this week in the US through to an October date in Nashville TN.

The Doobie Brothers
Budweiser Gardens
London, ON
June 30, 2022
All photos by Dan Boshart (27th Floor Photography)

Set List:

  • Nobody
  • Take Me in Your Arms
  • Here to Love You
  • Dependin’ on You
  • Rockin’ Down the Highway
  • You Belong to Me
  • Easy
  • South City Midnight Lady
  • Clear as the Driven Snow
  • It Keeps You Runnin’
  • Eyes of Silver
  • Better Days
  • Don’t Ya Mess With Me
  • Real Love
  • World Gone Crazy
  • Minute by Minute
  • Without You
  • Jesus Is Just Alright
  • What a Fool Believes
  • Long Train Runnin’
  • China Grove

Encores:

  • Black Water
  • Still Crazy (Paul Simon cover instrumental)
  • Takin It to the Streets
  • Listen to the Music
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