Thursday, March 27, 2014

Doobie Brothers 3-26-14: Wheeling, WV - Wesbanco Arena

Yesterday, I got the call.  "Metalmale here.  What do you think about this Doobie Brothers concert?  You going?"

"Yeah sure, let's meet up at Nail City around 6:25 p.m. and we'll survey the scene."

We both snagged some side-by-side parking spots in the Intelligencer lot.  I call this particular move the "DND."  Technically, it's referred to as the billion dollar "Dueling-Nutting-Dumpster" park job.

Not much luck in the early going.  One woman mocked us by eating her ticket.  Not exactly like this Florida crimestopper dude, but you get the drift.

Anyway, we pleaded our case to the legions of faithful 1970's holdouts.  "We need a free Doobie," I beckoned.  "Just one doobie.  Can anybody help us score a doobie?"  I was a tiny bit worried the Wheeling PD might pull up and see my sign.

What if I had to eat the sign?  What if I had to consume the evidence?  This thing was made of turgid cardboard.  It's not like eating a memo or a parking ticket.  I loathe the taste of cardboard, especially when it's pre-doobie on a Wednesday.

Eventually, a kindred soul gave us an extra.  Then, this woman gave us two more.  Sweet.  So now we actually had three doobies even though we only needed two doobies.  I tried to sell off the third but had no success.

There was a man standing on the corner with a backpack of high-end lighters.  Promotional giveaways for his store "Almost Heaven Hydroponics" --- a new gardening store next to the Big Lots in Bridgeport, Ohio.  He assured us that the business had nothing to do with marijuana.  Many questioned his veracity, but he held firm in the face of multiple grassy accusations.

So we skipped the opening act and had a beer at Nail City.  I watched in envy as a large man with a tremendous stomach sampled from the private buffet.  It was roughly the size of the American Dream Dusty Rhodes' midsection.

A thick layer of creamy white skin with a reddish hue emanated from under his t-shirt.  At one point, his gock lightly grazed a chicken finger.  A bowl of ranch dressing was dangerously close.  What if the gock had been dipped in ranch?  Would I call the health department on Nail City?  No.  Such activity is the norm at this place.  Nail City blows.

We finished our beers and headed over.  We ran into a few familiar faces, but for the most part, these people looked unfamiliar.  As expected, the place was pretty much deserted.  Out of a max crowd of around 8,500, I'd estimate the attendance around 1,800.  Maybe 2,000 tops.  Giant chunks of orange seats and missing swiss cheese-like holes on the floor.  I felt kinda bad for the Doobies.  The embarrassment wasn't  a shocker.  It was kinda anticipated.  They should have played the Capitol. 

Nonetheless, the Doobies strolled onto stage.  Oddly enough, for a band with that many players, you'd think they get rid of one of the drummers.  Still not sure why their band necessitated two drummers.  Maybe they were mimicking the Dead.  I do not know.

One highlight for me was a coagulation of miscellaneous coat hangers near the Nailers/Swing Club VIP club.

I demand a greater level of conformity and quality control from the Wheeling Civic Center staff in future coat hanging endeavors.  There's a reason nobody's willing to use this rack.  Just look at this amateurish display of filth.  Further evidence...

The pictures don't do it justice.

I toyed with the idea of turning it into a spectacle.  You know, coat hangers all fuckin' tangled up in dat shit.  All up in dat Wesbanco hizzy.  But just couldn't find the enthusiasm.  Probably would have gotten arrested because of some obscure statute - malicious, wanton rearrangement of tinny objects.

If you're a doobie fanatic, I'm pretty sure this was the set list.  I did a search.  I couldn't find the one from Wheeling, but they all look pretty much the same.
  1. (Kim Weston cover)
  2. (With Guy Allison Keyboard Solo)
  3. Encore:
I'll be honest.  They sounded pretty damn good.  Perfect volume, which is rare these days.  Most bands try to compensate their suckiness by shattering everyone's tympanic membranes.  And they had the right amount of energy.  Not too subdued and not too over-the-top.

And since I'm being honest, I should confess one important fact.  I really can't stand this band.  Maybe it was the "Jesus Is Just All Right" opener.  Maybe the fact that I've been forcibly fed their music on Eagle 107.5 for most of my adult life, much like the tubes stuck down the throats of Gitmo detainees.  I'm sure some of these terrorists still have actionable intelligence on the whereabouts of Bin Laden 13 years later (didn't our govt. claim he's dead?).  Maybe I've just grown tired of the swooning classic rock.

Foghat, Steppenwolf, Bad Company... who the fuck actually enjoys listening to this shit.  It's exhaustive.  Sometimes I literally jump out of a hot, pulsating shower and turn off my little clock radio.  I'm not joking.  This musical genre is that bad.

So we bolted about the 6th song in.  While walking to our cars, some hulking weirdo emerged from the darkness.  "Hey, Big Dog!  Big Dog, wait a minute!"  For the love of fucking christ, some downtown douchebag was trying to bum money from us.  We purposely kept our back to him.  Additional chants of "Big Dog."  I finally spoke up, "We do not wish to participate.  We do not want to talk to you."  He mumbled a final lamenting "Big Dog" and turned back.

We hit the Grindhouse for open mic night and were regaled with the most haunting rendition of Neil Diamond's Cracklin Rosie.  "Play it now, play it now, play it now."  I actually liked it.  Metalmale didn't care for the guy's voice.  In culinary terms, I'd describe it as crushed ice on a bed of plain white rice.  The most stoic, straightforward, bland expressionless voice I've ever heard in my life.  But that in itself, is cause for some degree of merit. 

Suffice to say, here's how I ranked the evening in descending order.

1) Play it now.  
2) Coat hangers (hopefully none were used to perform Eoff Street, back alley abortions)
3) Doobie Brothers
4) Big Dog

All in all, not bad for a Wheeling Wednseday.  I've had worse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big Dog and gock. I love it.