Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Robin Trower - Birchmere - September 21 2009

Robin Trower - The old, old Birchmere crowd files in quickly and fills the place much more thoroughly than I would have guessed. Guitar nuts are roaming around photographing the set list, photographing the backup guitars and bass and comparing notes of old Robin Trower shows. This is the first time for me as I missed his arena shows in my youth. Frankly, although he is an excellent guitarist, he wrote very few songs of interest and all of them are on the album "Bridge of Sighs". But that didn't stop me from enjoying another excellent guitarist who wrote even lesser songs, Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush, so here I am. I sit near a guy with a "You Might be a Guitar Nut if..." t-shirt that had several amusing answers to that question such as "you think a G-string is made of phosphor bronze". Anyway, Trower comes on and I wouldn't recognize him in a small police line-up. But once he starts playing the facial histrionics give it away, it's him. Oh, and he does play really well and has a strong signature sound. What was interesting is that he doesn't live at his pedal box, but mostly just creates the unique sound and works with it. The band was a bit too mannered. You expect that a bit with older bands, but the singer especially did not really give the edge that James Dewar did on the early albums. The Bridge of Sighs songs were good and got the biggest ovation from the enthralled crowd, well kind of enthralled, more respectful perhaps. Good show, but not one I will repeat next tour.


Quote of the Night: "There's no opening act tonight which often happens here--one of the reasons I like this place." Well, I agree that I don't want to see a six band bill keeping me out until 2:00am, but I wouldn't mind a bit more music for $40 and I really don't need to arrive home at 9:20pm.

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