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NILS LOFGREN, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
13 June 2011
As I had
just heard Nils had been waiting on a phone call from America regarding
the health of his fellow E Street band member Clarence Clemons, I
wondered how Nils spirits would be tonight, playing Liverpool's famous
I was soon
to find out, the E Street band guitar legend was on fine form, and we
were treated to all the classics ...with more than just a little help
from superb multi-instrumentalist Greg Varlotta, on piano, tap shoes,
percussion, trumpet and backing vocals.
fine Harp playing from Nils at the opening of the show Nils stepped away
from his harp, strapped on his Stratocaster and blazed an electric trail
through blues favourite 'Too Many Miles'.
launched into 'Keith Don't Go' you could feel the electricity, with a
rendition of the Beatles classic Can't Buy Me Love done instrumentally
the audience were in party mood.
As the bar
had been set at the highest level from song one, Nils proceeded to
entertain in his own special way a highly appreciative packed house with
over 140 minutes of virtuoso playing, mostly on acoustic, though
treating the crowd with his skills on the piano and his new-found
'Girl In Motion', 'Valentine', 'You', 'Little On Up', 'Believe' and 'No
Return' were all played note for note before Nils treated fans to
another request 'Moontears'.
Varlotta's tap-danced in sync with the guitar. 'Black Books' and
'No Merc'y with a full band backing track and some remarkable guitar
playing form Nils.
'I Came To
Dance', with Nils and Greg on duelling tap shoes, and traditional closer
'Shine Silently' dedicated to Clarence Clemons completed a wonderful
night from a man in his sixties but still full of life, energy and a
history of 42 years on the road.
who stayed after the gig to meet the man and have their CDs and T-shirts
signed, will count the days till this dusted guitar legend returns to
photos by Steve Goudie
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