What a terrific show this was! Steve Winwood is such a huge talent and seeing him in the intimately small Westbury Theater was a very special treat after last seeing him with Eric Clapton at that ass-kicking show at MSG! He highlighted his new album, Nine Lives, which harkens back to the old sound of Traffic. Winwood played all the cuts, with my favorites at the moment being Hungry Man and a rocking hot Dirty City, which was paired with Gimme Some Lovin' for the encore. These songs were interspersed with eight other great nostalgic hits from Traffic, Blind Faith, his solo period, and Spencer Davis Group: I'm a Man, Had to Cry Today, Can't Find My Way Home, Higher Love, Back in the High Life Again (Winwood played mandolin on this and it was tweaked into a slightly different and really beautiful version!), Dear Mr. Fantasy (which tore the roof off!), Light Up or Leave Me Alone, and the afore-mentioned Gimme Some Lovin' which ended the show. Karl Van Den Bossche on percussion, including powerful congas, and Richard Bailey on killer drums laid down a background of strength and Traffic-evoking texture that worked seamlessly with Paul Booth's woodwinds. Winwood himself, along with another B3 player when Winwood was playing guitar, provided the base lines on the Hammond B3 and Jose Neto played strong rhythm guitar, although his solos are a bit too "muscular" and predictable for my taste. The show had the entire audience on their feet a great deal of the time, which is saying a lot considering that Westbury Theater is not really conducive to that coupled with what appeared to be the average age of the attendees (myself included--although I believe I dance at a lot more rock shows than most of this crowd!). Great show, great performer and I really like the album too.
great review, thanks!! His guitar playing is so under rated..
I saw him open for Tom Petty two weeks ago, and was kinda disappointed by his short set which relied too heavily on 9 Lives. Not in love with the new release...certainly weaker than 2003's. Tom Petty just plain outright sucked and I couldn't wait for the show to end... I was there for Winwood anyway.
I guess I was lucky to see the show at Westbury as it was only Steve.