Robin Trower at The Moody Theater at ACL Live, Austin, TX, 4/24/2019

There are times when I go to shows and I start to wonder if I’m getting a little too old for this shit.  Sometimes I’m the only haggard dude with grey hair in the pit and I have to wonder what the youngsters slamming into me must think of the feeble idiot in the flip flops.  And, then I think about the music I get to see performed live and how much joy I get out of it and I just say, “Fuck it.”  I could care less about how out of place I may seem.

And then there was Wednesday night.  I have to say that I felt out of place for an entirely different reason.  The crowd who came out to see Robin Trower do his thing made me feel downright spry and relevant.  Pressed khakis, Life Alert bracelets and portable oxygen tanks were the order of the day for these fogies.  No moshpits for this crowd.  Shit, the closest thing to a metal tour shirt I saw was a Roger Waters shirt.  So, once again, I felt like the oddball in my Nevermore shirt and flip flops.  I just can’t win.

Anyway, I’m not sure why there weren’t more old school metalheads in the crowd because Trower is fucking metal.  Maybe not in the traditional sense, but the series of albums he and his power trio put out in the 1970s are pure guitar magic.  He delivers a relaxed, laid-back version of metal, if you will.  His combination of blues with flavorings of Hendrix-inspired psychedelic shadings led to some of the underground gems of the classic era of 1970s rock.  This night’s setlist vacilitated between his classic material and some of his newer songs.  The newer stuff was fine, but the classic era stuff was just amazing to witness live.  At 74, Trower looks frail in person, but that sound!  Damn! There are certain notes and passages that he hit and they just crackled with life.  It’s always interesting to see how one person can put his or her’s stamp on an instrument and Trower has this ability to hit chords that just cut through the air with an intensity and purposefulness that most guitarists will never reach.  I’m really glad I got to finally witness this dude lay down his magic live.

Bridge of Sighs

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