After a week of national solemnity following John Lennon's death, George Thorogood took the stage at the Warner Theatre last night and barked: "Let the good times roll!" He proved that rock 'n' roll survives any particular artist as he played old blues and rockabilly tunes with the same contagious desire that the Beatles and Rolling Stones brought to them 18 years ago.
The 26-year-old Delaware singer never mentioned Lennon, but played the same tradition with the same spirit. Promising a "Sunday night dance jamboree," Thorogood insisted that the house lights be turned on as people danced in the aisles. Thorogood's old thumping trio has been expanded by the grainy tenor sax of Hank Carter. Thorogood's guitar replicated the Beatles' two-guitar sound all by itself. A spectacular showman, Thorogood whipped up the crowd's spirits with Chuck Berry duck walking and Rockette high kicks. He leaned forward to anoint nearby dancers with the end of his guitar.
This fall Washington's Catfish Hodge, Dixie Ballin and Mitch Collins joined four alumni of Little Feat to form Chicken Legs. In last night's opening set, the three locals rejoined their old mates in the Catfish Hodge Band.This band stood right up to the Chicken Legs' comparisons; they even played many of the same songs. Their brash brand of boogie proved they could stand on their own legs.