Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Steve Winwood at the Majestic


I saw Steve Winwood at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio last night. The Majestic is one the best music venues anywhere. Built in the 1920's, completely renovated and reopened in 1989, it is beautiful inside and has excellent sound. A great place for a show.

Winwood opened with the classic Spencer Davis hit I'm a Man and from the first notes he had that Hammond B-3 singing. His voice is still pitch perfect and as recognizable as it was in 1967 when I'm a Man was all over the radio.

From there, he covered Can't Find My Way Home, which is one of my favorites from the tiny Blind Faith catalogue. After the first few notes, I turned to my friend and said: "Hearing this, I can die a happy man."

Another highlight was a spirited Low Spark of High Heel Boys which segued into Empty Pages, a standout from 1970's John Barleycorn Must Die. Taking up a mandolin, Winwood came to the front and led an inspired Back in the High Life Again. An extended version of Light Up or Leave Me Alone gave the band a chance to stretch out and show their licks. Every player in the band was amazing.

The first encore was a hard rocking Dear Mr. Fantasy with Winwood playing an excellent lead guitar. The show finished with the other signature Spencer Davis hit Gimme Some Lovin', which had the 60 year olds dancing in the aisles.

I left the Majestic in awe of the musical genius of Steve Winwood and realizing that the last time I saw him was a Traffic show at the Boston Tea Party in November of 1970. That's just over 42 years ago. Fuck, I am older than dirt.



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