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Casino concerts fill weekend with rock, blues

Chicago performs Saturday at Thunder Valley.
Chicago performs Saturday at Thunder Valley. Courtesy of Chicago

It’s too bad that distances prohibit being at every one of this weekend’s casino concerts, because to see them all would provide a blast of rock ’n’ roll and blues.

It is possible to catch two at one location – Michael McDonald’s appearance Friday, Sept. 25, with Boz Scaggs, and Chicago’s Saturday, Sept. 26, show, both at Thunder Valley. But on either night, other casinos also also offer strong concert lineups.

At the South Shore Room of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, George Thorogood and the Destroyers take to the stage. Thorogood is the man who has said he wrote “Bad to the Bone” only so he could play it for the rest of his life.

His philosophy can be summed up by a remark he once made: “Stan Musial was once asked, ‘What was the greatest day of your career?’ And Stan said, ‘Every day when I walk out on the field is the greatest day.’ I feel the same way. Every night when I walk out on that stage is the highlight of my career. I hit the first chord, the band kicks in, and we hear the audience respond. That’s the rush. Over 40 years into this, and every night that’s still the only moment that matters.” (Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; $55; www.Ticketmaster.com)

In Reno, the Grand Sierra has booked Duran Duran (new album “Paper Gods”) (9 p.m. Friday; $75; grandsierraresort.com,) and Death Cab for Cutie (8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28; $45.50).

After his Thunder Valley concert, Michael McDonald will head to New York to participate in “Lean on Him: A Tribute to Bill Withers” with Branford Marsalis, Keb’ Mo, and Sheryl Crow, among others. We can only hope it will be recorded. Because recent McDonald efforts have been slim, fans have to content themselves with his duet with Sara Evans of “What a Fool Believes” on the 14th studio album of the Doobie Brothers, “Southbound.”

McDonald’s stage mate, Boz Scaggs, has a new album, “A Fool to Care,” which includes guitarist Roger Young on “Full of Fire,” steel guitarist Paul Franklin on “There’s a Storm a Comin’,” Bonnie Raitt on “Hell to Pay,” and Lucinda Williams on a surprise do-over of “Whispering Pines.” (7 p.m.; $44.75-$169.75; thundervalleyresort.com)

Chicago has a new major CD release, “Chicago Doubleheader,” two 10-CD collections (“Studio Albums 1969-1978” and “Studio Albums 1979-2008”). The band has managed to get a Top 40 hit on the charts for six consecutive decades. (7:30 p.m. Saturday; $42.75-$169.75; thundervalleyresort.com)

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