The Doobie Brothers, ‘Live at the Greek Theatre 1982′ – DVD Review
A celebratory, career-spanning concert, that turned out NOT to be the Doobie Brothers "farewell" performance, is captured on the newly released 'Live at the Greek Theatre 1982' DVD.
OK, so most of the original band got back together five years later, but after over a decade of lineup and stylistic changes, it's clear from the interviews here that these guys needed to get away from each other.
Thing is, as cool as it is to watch this historic event, that lack of excitement kinda seeps through into the performance, too. For guys who are supposedly triumphantly writing the last line of a storied career, they sure do look either tired or as if going through the motions sometimes -- with guitarist Patrick Simmons being a notable, active exception.
Oddly, Michael McDonald, whose arrival a few years before heralded a smoother, soulful sound and a commercial peak for the band, is tucked away in the corner, just one of the guys, except for the repeated explosive audience reactions whenever he sings.
His presence also seems to result in an unflatteringly smoothed-out sound for some of the band's older songs, such as the opening 'Listen to the Music.'
It's clear that at the very least, the Doobie Brothers were creatively straddling a river that was splitting in different directions. The band, minus McDonald, reunited five years later and has streamlined and unified their sound, and he's certainly done great, so the split seems to have been a smart move for all involved.
Reading this back, it sounds very critical, so let's temper the above in this manner: if you're a big fan of the Doobie Brothers, ignore 70% of what I just said; this is still a really cool document of an important time in their career. They play everything you could hope for in a Doobie Brothers concert, and they do it pretty darn well.
Watch the Doobie Brothers Perform 'China Grove' from 'Live at the Greek Theatre 1982'