Robin Trower – Brutal Force With Finesse

Being a Musician, especially growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, you had a wide spectrum of guitar heroes to mentor your playing and influence the path for the new generation of guitarist being created. I started with Jimi Hendrix, Uli Jon Roth, Richie Blackmore, Jimmy Page, Michael Schenker, Rick Derringer, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteen and in that chronological order. But there where the other influences that made me a better-rounded musician and added to my musical vocabulary. These included many artist and Guitarist over the years such as Pat Travers, Gary Moore, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Robin Trower.  When I heard that Robin Trower was playing at one of my favorite Venues in San Diego, I immediately wanted to review the show.

Trower just turned 72 years old in March, yet rock giant Robin Trower without effort, made his guitar scream, tell stories, cry and sooth.  With the help of bassist-singer Rich Watts, Trower connected with a focused audience inside the always-intimate House of Blues here in San Diego.  About 90 percent of the crowd either sat or stood and watched in near silence as Trower demonstrated his mastery of his craft.  Trower first emerged from stage right to thunderous cheers and whistles from his fans.  Trower looked very healthy and appeared happy to be with his friends tonight. Trower started the opening riff of “Too Rolling Stoned” from the 1974’s Bridge of Sighs album.  It became immediately apparent that Trower has lost virtually none of his fret-board abilities.  The song still rocks and had the crowd Rocking the HOB like there were no tomorrow.  Watching Robin play is a mesmerizing experience; despite being 72 years young, the blues-rock vocalist and master of guitar still plays as if he was in his heyday, which is why he is highly regarded as one of the most influential guitarists around the world and one of my all-time favorites.

Watts sang with a voice that demanded your attention and the band, like their leader, played with authority and demanded the respect of the crowd. Trower’s ability to draw fans to concerts despite today’s society that seemingly prefers YouTube and other online multi-media was on full display inside House of Blues.

When the epic “Day of the Eagle” and “Bridge of Sighs” entered the picture, claps, whistles and cheers matched the bands volume level. The song’s main guitar riff stands the test of time and gave you a sense of pride just being there to witness the event.  His guitar tones brought us back in time. Not many guitarists today can make you remember them by their guitar tone; however, Trower is unique in that area and is easily identifiable by his tone alone. No out-of-place notes happened.  Every sound emitting from his guitar and amp was crisp and perfect.

Playing song after song of amazing Blues and Rock was a beautiful experience for the fans in attendance tonight.  On that HOB stage that has hosted gigs by just about every artist known to man, Trower was a force to be reckoned. With guitar in hand, Trower employed brutal force with finesse and inside San Diego’s House of Blues, simply did it all.


Robin Trower Setlist:

  1. Too Rolling Stoned
  2. Confessing Midnight
  3. Where you are going to
  4. Not outside inside
  5. Somebody Calling
  6. Make up your mind
  7. Day of the Eagle
  8. Bridge of Sighs
  9. The Turning
  10. Can’t turn back the clock
  11. Daydream
  12. Jigsaw
  13. Little bit of Sympathy
  14. Rise up like the Sun
  15. For Earth Below



Robin Trower / Venue: San Diego HOB


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