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Review / Photos | Robin Trower @ Copernicus Center 4/29/17

Words: Robin Zimmerman | Photos: Howard Greenblatt

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With driving rain and high winds, it was not a fit night for man or beast. But inside the Copernicus Center, Robin Trower proved why he has been a guitar God since the mid-sixties. The 72-year old legend showcased his skills to a wildly enthusiastic crowd at this Northwest side venue on Saturday, April 28th

After garnering a standing ovation the second he stepped on stage, it would have been easy for Trower to phone it in. Instead, he dialed up the energy level up to 11 by opening with “Too Rolling Stoned” from his landmark 1974 album Bridge of Sighs.

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With an audience comprised of almost 1,200 rabid fans, the only quibble was that they had to sit down for much of the show. The Copernicus Center is a beautifully restored theater but it did not provide much room to groove to familiar riffs by this legendary rocker.

While Trower was the undisputed star of the show, his two sidemen were more than up to the task of backing him up. Bassist Richard Watts handled much of vocal duties while Christopher Taggart kept a steady back beat on drums. The big sound put out by this powerful trio had many flashing back to the days when groups like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were busy serving up psychedelic rock.

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Trower was right in the midst of the swinging sixties. He had a stint with Procul Harum before branching off on his own in the early seventies.

During his 1-1/2-hour show, he covered a wide range of early hits including “Daydream” from Twice Removed from Yesterday and several tracks from Bridge of Sighs.

He also delved into this millennium’s catalog with the title track from Where are You Going To and “Make Up Your Mind” from his upcoming new release, Time and Emotion.

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The Chicago-based power trio Tomorrow the Moon were the opening act for Trower. They were obviously thrilled to be on the same stage as him and they made the most of their opportunity. One fellow, with the requisite Chicago accent, was heard saying “they sound a lot like Zeppelin, man!”

Of course, Trower has a sound all his own and he gave the crowd what they came for—blistering licks and unmatched fret work by a legend who has been front and center for a half-century. He seemed genuinely thankful for all the accolades thrown his way. He came on for two encores‑ “Rise Up Like the Sun” and “For Earth Below,” which helped send a warm and happy crowd home on a cold and miserable night.

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