Blues-Rock Legend Robin Trower Takes Command of the Fillmore

Categories: Last Night
robin_trower_top_95_550.jpg
Romana Machado
Robin Trower

Robin Trower Band
March 3rd, 2011
@ The Fillmore

Better than: A poke in the eye with a hot lick.

Though brightened by some few beautiful women, the crowd clomping through the lobby
of this iconic venue for '70s guitar wizard Robin Trower was one long procession
of starch and facial hair. Not so much sausage as bratwurst party, they absorbed a
single hundred-minute-long burst of finely calibrated blues rock as played by one of the
undisputed masters of electric guitar. That the throng was slightly younger than most of
the recent classic rock outings here was likely due to the ever-ageless Procol Harum cult.
The rest were the level of serious rocker that'd drop eighty or a hundred bucks on tickets
just as winos unroll like amounts for bottles of Bordeaux.

Only in this case, tickets are the money better spent. Trower was already a lead guitarist of
Hendrix-level renown by the time he split from U.K. art-rock kingpins Procol Harum
for a solo career four decades ago. Bridge of Sighs, from 1974, hit the U.S. Top Ten and
founded a tenacious cult based on the guitarist's weaving, hyper-eloquent solos and
churning drive. Fashion might augment or whittle away at this following, but time
has done nothing to the man's stone virtuosity. I supposed I could've taken poleaxed
audience exclamations of "This guy's awesome!" or "Holy fuck, he's still got it" at a
steep discount, but my own ears were telling me the same thing.

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Romana Machado
Robin Trower holds forth

Sheets and lattices and wallops of amplified blues guitar, as everyone knows, hypnotize
the human subject while stoking a unique exhilaration. The whole beefy horde in
attendance was soon straining the floorboards with bouncing and stentorian barks echoed
first to last. No bloodless robo-wizard like Joe Satriani, Trower at sixty-five is a serene-
looking gentleman whose weathered face wore a single distracted painterly expression
nearly the whole set, as if only indifferently aware of the whorls and designer detonations
he was setting off. The band did an excellent job just keeping up, with vocalist Davey
Pattison effectively raising the ghost of James Dewar on the vintage songs.


robin_95_550.jpg
Romana Machado
Robin Trower


Finally, the great man shut down with regrets and stepped off, as a tipsy lady behind
me cried "Aw, you're not goin' anywhere!" There was a brief but intense burst of
throaty outrage, and I was about to go all Bill Hicks on the cretin next to me who
yelled for "Freebird!" when the star strode back on for another display of gorgeous
pyrotechnics. At the lip of the stage was a guy mugging Sandler-like for a cellphone pic
of himself with Trower in the background, erupting like any other natural wonder.

Setlist:

Confessing Midnight
Lady Love
Somebody Calling
For Earth Below
Twice Removed
Distant Places
Day of the Eagle
Bridge of Sighs
Tame the Devil
The Turning
Too Rolling Stoned
Little Bit of Sympathy
Rise Up Like The Sun
Not Inside - Outside

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Location Info

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The Fillmore

1805 Geary, San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

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