George Thorogood: Thoroughly good blues at Tulalip

George Thorogood owes his career to bluesmen such as Buddy Guy, so it was fitting the two men shared a stage Thursday night, together drawing more than 2,300 people to the Tulalip Amphitheatre.

Their show was a study in contrasts.

Guy has accolades, including 2005 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Thorogood has platinum albums. Guy used his guitar like a scalpel, exacting, precise. Thorogood’s was more of an ax. Guy wore white. Thorogood, black.

And yes, Guy was the opener, Thorogood the headliner, with clear reason.

The crowd, made up mainly of middle-aged fans, was sporting George Thorogood and the Destroyers T-shirts. When the group took the stage just before 9 p.m., the audience went to its feet.

“I promise to each and every one of you,” Thorogood called, “that I will do everything in my power to get arrested tonight. Someone’s got to go to jail for rock ‘n’ roll. It might as well be me.”

Now seriously, Thorogood was doing very little that would get him arrested. He’s a ham, a gloriously entertaining ham. He strutted like Mick Jagger, cradled his guitar like Chuck Berry, and baited the audience with phrases like, “God bless the working class.”

Thorogood delivers a style of rock steeped in the blues. Some of his biggest hits, including Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” are souped-up covers, perfect for the jukebox. Others, like his own song, “Bad to the Bone,” are simple crowd pleasers.

They were a solid fit for the outdoor amphitheater. Every time the crowd heard a lick they knew, they went onto their feet, drinks in hand, whooping. Thorogood, 57, bills his band as being the “world’s greatest bar band.” It seems that carries over to beer gardens.

Despite the headliner status, Thorogood had a hard act to follow.

Guy, 71, took the stage at 7 p.m., wearing white overalls and a white cap.

At first, the audience seemed unimpressed. He covered “Fever” with quiet anxiety. They shrugged, got some beer. He played “Skin Deep,” a tuneful new track. Heads started to turn. The applause grew louder.

Then he walked off the stage and into the crowd. Strolling and posing, he ripped out solos. He meandered through nearly ever section of the amphitheater, pausing here, sitting in an open seat there. Dozens of people whipped out cell phones and snapped pictures.

He reclaimed the stage to cheers.

“Aw, shucks,” he said. “I wish I could play all night.”

And as he grinned broadly into the setting sun, hundreds grinned back.

Reporter Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455 or

Talk to us

More in Life

Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band will perform June 4 at Chateau Ste. Michelle. (Associated Press)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Ex-Beatle Alert: Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band stop by Chateau Ste. Michelle on Sunday.

The M/V Puyallup docks at the Edmonds waterfront on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 in Edmonds. The ferry along with the passenger loading walkway were struck by lightning last week. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Tune in for virtual meeting on Edmonds-Kingston ferry

The series of Washington State Ferries meetings are for updates and public comment. A recording is available online.

Mukilteo Police Chief Cheol Kang smiles while trying a Diamond Knot Tot on Thursday, May 18, 2023 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Police chief departing Mukilteo after 20 years, 322 Yelp reviews

When he’s not keeping the city safe, Cheol Kang moonlights as an “elite” dining reviewer. He’s also known for his haircuts.

Just outside Kraków, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is filled with salt sculptures – and tourists.
Rick Steves’ Europe: Kraków weaves a vibrant cultural tapestry

It’s Poland’s cultural and intellectual center, and easily the nation’s best destination.

Do I express my feelings or keep them to myself?

It might be difficult, but communicating uneasy feelings is an important part of taking care of yourself.

American Queen Voyages takes five months to process refund

May Youngclaus has been waiting months for a refund from American Queen Voyages. Is her money lost at sea?

2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited (Hyundai)
2023 Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited

IONIQ 5 is the first vehicle Hyundai has built to be exclusively electric.

The all-new 2023 Nissan Ariya has seating for five passengers, and nearly 23 cubic feet of rear cargo room. (Nissan)
2023 Ariya compact is Nissan’s first all-electric SUV

The lineup gives buyers a lot of leeway, with front- or all-wheel drive, and two battery options.

Unless you have phenomenal soil, you should always add compost and starter fertilizers when you are planting new plants. (Getty Images)
Protect your gardening investments with compost and fertilizer

For a few extra bucks, you can give your newly purchased plants the tools to succeed for years to come.

Most Read