Doobie Brothers Bring 50th Anniversary Tour To Duluth – PHOTOS + RECAP
Backed by more than 48 million records sold and several Top 40 hits spanning five decades, the legendary Doobie Brothers brought their celebration of 50+ years together to Duluth's AMSOIL Arena on Tuesday night.
Launching their career in 1971 with their self-titled debut album, the group has seen some changes in their lineup over the years, but the core of Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston, eventually joined by Michael McDonald and John McFee, piloted the group through years of success, all embarking on this anniversary tour.
While Johnston was forced to leave the tour back in May due to a back injury, the remaining members still put on an incredible show for a big crowd at AMSOIL Arena on June 20.
The group welcomed fans with "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" to kick off their roughly two-hour set. The first half of their time on stage blended some deeper favorites with hits like "Rockin' Down The Highway" and "It Keeps You Runnin'", before pivoting to a hit-packed finale.
Fans cheered and sang along with a cover of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" roughly halfway through the show, which is when the act pivoted to a string of fan-favorites that topped the charts over the years.
The crescendo of the evening built as the band shifted from "Minute By Minute" to "Jesus Is Just Alright", "What A Fool Believes", and "Long Train Runnin'" before concluding their initial set with "China Grove".
The group returned to the stage to kick off an encore that began with their massive hit "Black Water", followed by an impressive instrumental duet between Michael McDonald's keyboards and Marc Russo's saxophone before heading into "Takin' It To The Streets". The encore then continued to what seemed like a fitting conclusion of "Listen To The Music", with the band then asking the crowd "Will you stick around for one more?"
The bonus encore song was an interesting nod to Michael McDonald's time with Steely Dan as well as to guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, who left Steely Dan to join the Doobie Brothers.
While "Skunk" wasn't on tour with the Doobies, the song they concluded the night with was "Pretzel Logic", which was the title track of the last album he played on with Steely Dan and was the final album the band put out before Michael McDonald joined to offer backing vocal and instrumental contributions.
Through each piece of their set, the group sounded incredible - giving fans a great look back through the years of the band's many hits.
Here are some photos from the show at AMSOIL!