That all changed on Sunday, June 5 with Robin Trower.
When I first saw that Trower--an artist whose music my mom grew
up loving--would be making an appearance at The Westcott Theater, I knew we had
to go. Regardless of whether or not the music would be “my thing,” or if I would
be the youngest of the crowd, we had to go.
So the day came, and there we were at The Westcott waiting for
the 7 p.m. doors, in a line reaching to the next block. Who were these people
in line with me? I’d seen them in passing before, but never this close. I was
used to waiting in the lot before a jam band’s show, watching dudes with dreads
play hacky sack and frisbee.
When the doors opened, we went inside, staked out a spot and waited for the opener, Mark Doyle and the Maniacs. A few minutes before 8 p.m., Doyle and his Maniacs took the stage to mild applause. The band played a solid set of southern rock and bluesy music, with some Santana-like jams sprinkled throughout.
Mark Doyle closed the opening set a few minutes after 8:30, and
the crowd--which filled most of the room by this point--pushed closer to the
stage. After what seemed like a small eternity (but was probably only about a
half hour) the crowd cheered as Trower and his band-mates took the stage.
Hendrix-esque guitar riffs filled the room. At this point I caught my mom’s eye
and nodded--this would do.
The band grinned at the crowd and then went straight to business, opening with “Cofessin Midnight.” With his soulful and bluesy guitar jams, you could easily think that Trower--a seasoned guitarist well into his 60s--wasn’t simply influenced by Jimi Hendrix, but he was channeling his energy and style. As his face moved in and out of the shadows from the stage lights, we could see his focused face--eyes closed, lips pursed in concentration and groove-itude, if you will. As I overheard a woman next to me say, “It looks like he ate a lemon... but he’s feelin’ it!”
Coming from a background of “hippie” bands, the best part of Trower’s live show was easily the guitar jams. The music would effortlessly build to a wall of energy that would suddenly almost threaten to overwhelm your musical soul, and then just as effortlessly shift back into a slow groove. The songs flowed together well, with a few thank you’s from the band, giving Trower a chance to relax his face into a humble and young smile.
Seeing Trower play was one of the best musical choices I’ve made in a while. An evening I thought would be a decent experience turned into an amazing night. Conclusion: The man can play.
Pictures coming soon!