6/30: Lara Johnston @ Ravinia
Lara Johnston, the daughter of Tom Johnston, Doobie Brothers guitarist, opened the show for them on the last day of June at Ravinia. I discovered that she is not a newcomer to the business, as she has toured extensively as a backing vocalist and now a solo artist. She was a backing vocalist for Belinda Carlisle and Don Henley. As a solo artist, Lara has shared the stage with Willie Nelson, Journey and this summer with The Doobie Brothers and Gregg Allman.
Lara who has a powerful, soulful voice opened her set with “Backseat”. Her next song, “K.I.S.S.” was the first-ever Grand Prize winner of the Unsigned Only Competition in February of 2013. She then sang “I Don’t Believe” from her first album titled Lara and then went into “Sketches” which was my favorite song from her set. I could feel the emotion and feeling in her voice in the next songs, “I Don’t Give A’ and her last song “Pity Party”. One problem about a show like this is that the opening artist has a limited time for their set and I would have liked to hear more songs from Lara. I will definitely check out Lara’s show the next time that she is in the Chicago area.
Lara Johnston Setlist:
3. I Don’t Believe
5. I Don’t Give A
6. Here At the End of the World
7. Pity Party
6/30: The Doobie Brothers @ Ravinia
Four-time GRAMMY® Awards winners The Doobie Brothers took their harmony-laden, guitar-driven rock and roll show to Ravinia on June 30. They recently re-recored their most popular tunes with some of country music’s biggest stars such as Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton and Sara Evans, among many others. The album is titled Southbound was released in November 2014 on the Arista Nashville label.
The Doobie Brothers started the show with their cover of the gospel song “Jesus Is Just Alright” and then turned it up with “Rockin’ Down the Highway”. Marc Russo was featured on saxophone on the next song “Dependin’ On You” as well as “Eyes of Silver” later in the set. The crowd really got into it when they played “World Gone Crazy”, dancing and grooving in the aisles. John Mcfee was featured on the lap steel slide guitar on the song “Neal’s Fandango” which is one that I really enjoyed.
The Doobies then did something that I have not seen bands do in quite some time, they played an acoustic set. The songs included in the set were: “Slippery St. Paul”, a song about their album producer, “South City Midnight Lady” and “Spirit”. The crowd then got back on their feet for “Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me)” and “Takin’ It to the Streets”, which had a great keyboard intro by Guy Allison. I tweeted that when you come to Chicago, you have to play The Blues. The Doobie Brothers did that with their cover of Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Don’t Start Me Talkin’”. They finished their set with “Black Water” (appropriate for the almost full moon that night) and “Long Train Runnin’”.
The Doobies started their encore with “China Grove” and then played “Road Angel”. Lara Johnston came out to sing and play tambourine for the finale “Listen to the Music”. It was another mind-blowing show from a great rocking’ band.
The Doobie Brothers Setlist:
1. Jesus Is Just Alright (Arthur Reid Reynolds cover)
2. Rockin’ Down the Highway
3. Dependin’ On You
4. Clear as the Driven Snow
5. World Gone Crazy
6. Neal’s Fandango
7. Slippery St. Paul
8. South City Midnight Lady
10. Eyes of Silver
11. Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me) (Kim Weston cover)
12. Takin’ It to the Streets
13. Don’t Start Me Talkin’ (Sonny Boy Williamson cover)
14. Black Water
15. Long Train Runnin’
16. China Grove
17. Road Angel
18. Listen to the Music (with Lara Johnston)
The Doobie Brothers Band (in alphabetical order):
Guy Allison – Keyboards/Vocals
John Cowan – Bass/Vocals
Tom Johnston – Vocals/Guitar
John McFee – Guitar/Strings/Vocals
Tony Pia – Drums
Marc Russo – Saxophones
Pat Simmons – Vocals/Guitar
Ed Toth – Drums
For More Info on Lara Johnston:
For More Info on The Doobie Brothers:
Oct 14, 2015 8