As the summer outdoor concert season opens, the Doobie Brothers are usurping Eddie Money’s usual spot as the DTE Energy Music Theatre’s kick-off artist. But co-founder Patrick Simmons feels the group’s long history with the amphitheater — including many multinight stands during the ’70s and early ’80s — makes it just as appropriate of an opener.
“That venue has always been a great place for us to play,” says Simmons, 62. “We’ve had some really good times there, and great responses from the audience. It’s a real rock ’n’ roll thing going on there, and we love it.”
The Doobies are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first album this year, but Simmons says the group is more excited about its new music. Last September the band released “World Gone Crazy,” its first set of fresh material in a decade. It reunites the Doobies with original producer Ted Templeman and nods to that debut album with a remake of the song “Nobody,” and Simmons says the new music has put a definite charge in the band’s concerts.
“Oh, definitely, having new stuff to play live is pretty cool, just to have some new stuff to present to the audience,” he explains. “You feel like there’s more buzz, more belonging or something.
“We’ve recorded so many albums through the years. You always figure you’re going to do another one, and we always had it in the back of our minds that we were going to put out another record. But this or that would get in the way — a tour or something. It’s a process where you have to put a lot of other things on hold to go do it, and that can be hard. But we’re all glad we did. It was overdue.”
The Doobie Brothers and Pat Robitaille perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $37.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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