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Robin Trower in the USA

Ken Stasion for BtP • Sayerville, USA • 20 September 2009

I haven't missed a Trower tour since 1979 and I wasn't missing this. The Starland Ball Room has become a regular stop for Trower. A great venue, large with an almost sold-out attendance. Unsteady Freddie was MC ! The line-up was the same as last year's, "My next to almost farewell tour": the always-amazing Davey Pattison, Glen Letch and Pete Thompson. Having seen Robin so many times, how can I say which tour was the best or most memorable? For sure the band seemed their most relaxed and quite comfortable with each other. The mix was impeccable and really gave me a chance to experience the rhythm section which I will say is the tightest and most precise I can recall. Others thought so too. There was a goodly amount of people in their 20s there, which is a testament to Trower's timeless appeal.

Pete Thompson played the most fluidly I can recall and I've seen him many times now. Pete looked cool too, letting his hair get shoulder length and sporting a moustache.

Robin was playing his signature Stratocaster in wine burst finish with maple fretboard – my fave and truly one of the most beautiful Strats out there. Robin was going through two new Marshall "modern" vintage amps which seem to be quite the new one to have by Marshall. They were powering two Cornell 2 x 12 cabs finished in red tolex. Quite a striking back line. I'm of the opinion Robin's live tone is the best I've heard. I know he keeps going for that fine line between clean and overdrive and really, he owns it. The crowd was very enthusiastic (they always are at Robin gigs) and also very familiar, with easy conversation with fellow Trower heads. Robin selected songs from his vast body of work and covered just about all phases of his amazing and still evolving career. He only did one from the new album What Lies Beneath, the track being Time and Emotion. As always Robin was faultless. I really enjoy his live version of Go My Way which is heavy on the wah pedal and very funky and danceable. Well, yeah. I've got the new one of course and to make it complete I bought a new Trower teeshirt featuring the new album cover graphics; very cool and very Trower.

Robin has a new DVD coming out featuring Jack Bruce from the Europe-only Seven Moons tour. For sure that is a must-have for all. I believe Robin is working on his first all instrumental album as well. Amazingly, Robin does not have a box set yet and other than the remastered Bridge of Sighs, very little re-issue bonus track-type releases; I suspect a box set would have to be issued at some point, Robin has a wealth of unreleased material. I don't know if Robin will ever stop touring, I don't take it for granted and for sure I've gotten very used to Robin coming around. I would feel a void if Robin were to retire from touring. Of all the artists I've continued to see through out the years, I have the longest "personal " history with Robin when Procol is factored in and indeed they are part of that equation.

Here is the set list:
Twice Removed from Yesterday
Somebody Calling
For Earth Below
Shame the Devil
Time and Emotion
No Time
The Fool and Me
Day of the Eagle
Bridge of Sighs
Go My Way
Victims of the Fury
Rise Up like the Sun
Little Bit of Sympathy


Too Rolling Stoned
Another Time, Another Place

Ken adds ... I'm quite certain Robin uses only four pedals plus an A/B switch for amp selection. They are Fulltone pedals. The Déjà Vibe, The Clyde Wah, Fulltone OD and Robin's signature OD which I think is really just a clean boost with a slight harmonic enhancement. During the gig, I'm sure the stereo outputs of the Vibe were routed to the desk and there was a huge swirl out of the side-to-side sound re-enforcement. It was the first I had experienced that and yeah, it was very cool. As I say, the mix was the nicest and clearest I can recall. Glen Letch and Pete Thompson were quite crisp in the mix and it was great just to hear those great rhythm lines performed like that.

Robin Trower's page at BtP

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