Joined: 16 Jul 2003 Posts: 534 Location: SF Bay area
Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:11 am Post subject: YOSHI'S..OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD
Dare I say it? Sh-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-WORDS FAIL ME.
My mom took my boyfriend and me to see the Beatles at the Hollwood Bowl when I was fifteen; it was a magical moment in my life. Tonight, I my daughter and I went to see Robben Ford. Chalk up another generation of amazing mother-daughter nirvana! Now, imagine my reaction when he walked out wearing those shoes. HE WORE THOSE SHOES! Oh goddddddddddd, I LOVE those shoes!
Noooooo, not JUST those shoes, but the most deliciously sumptuous golden brocade linen suit, (it was the color of melted sunshine) with a claret colored crew-neck shirt AND the shoes. Hoooooeeeeeee, he looked fabulous, and I think he knew it. And then he began to play...
He was on fire, and it got better, and better, and better as the night unfolded. Scintillating solos from everyone (including John R. Burr, who is a killer of a keyboard player and a really nice man. I spoke with him briefly, mainly to gush and tell him that, as a truly lousy keyboard player, I enjoyed the hell out what he did tonight, and he actually said he felt far more comfortable on a piano than the organ he played this evening....hey, I'm just a dumb English and History teacher, but I thought he was outstanding!) He is a blast to watch, too, as we sat on his side and were treated to a bird's eye view.
On a scale of one to ten, I would give tonight's performance a twelve. Honestly, I have never seen Robben give anything but a great performance, but he was magnificent tonight. Yoshi's is such a fantastic ambiance, and we were a devoted crowd from the start, but as the night developed, the crowd (including yours truly) let out some satiated moans and gasps. How DOES he make those sounds? It's magic.
It was incredibly fun to sit there and rock out with my daughter, who, in my opinion, grows more beautiful each year, and we found ourselves embracing each other at the pure bliss of the evening. When I dropped her off, she told me that she would be MORE than happy to go with me on Sunday night, since I was planning to have to go by myself. Maybe we can talk my son into going...a real family Robben affair. (I promise I won't embarrass you too much, Andrew!)
Hilary Jones is such a strong and solid drummer, and she is absolutely charming. (So nice that she and my Hilary share the CORRECT spelling of their names...Hilary, (both of you) YOU ROCK BIG TIME!) I hate to admit it, but it is simply heaven to see a woman fill the position of such a traditionally male role. YOU GO, GIRL! (Robben calls her Buffy, the vampire slayer. Yeah!)
Those of you who know me know that I am not very good at living "in the moment." I worry about everything and everybody, and in my spare time (!) I panic. It is such a relief to know that tonight is only the second of six shows I will see over the next few days! I don't have to frett that I forgot to enjoy it, or listen carefully enough, or watch the mesmerizing things he does with his volume pedal...I get to see him again tomorrow night.
And no, Ian, it is never enough. I think Robben has become my drug of choice. I'm so high I cannot wipe this smile off my face, and it is that much more savory, because I got to share it with my child. Way too cool!
More tomorrow night. Thanks for all your kind words about my rants and raves...I'm so used to getting the "rolled eyes" look from most adults...this board is the best, and David....SEATTLE??? YOU FOOL! You should have come!
P.S. Do you have any idea how cool it is for this little "nobody" to have complete strangers coming up to introduce themselves to her? This ugly little duckling is having a splendiferous time at the pond! _________________ www.elizabethgage.com
Joined: 04 Nov 2003 Posts: 886 Location: SF Bay Area
Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:02 am Post subject: Second Set
In the second set (Thursday) Help The Poor turned into this Miles jam with Hillary doing the Silent Way hi-hat thing, and Robben got totally into it. Weird noises, outside modes, the whole works. And he was lost in it, eyes closed, feeling the rest of the band, and leading them at the same time. Bob Malach caught the fever and even John R. started doing some of the outside single line solos I've heard him do before. J.R. also told me he'd rather have a piano but the man sure knows what to do with a B3. Dwayne got into one of his two handed tapping solos. Hilary looked more energetic than Wednesday, and when she is energetic, watch out! Like Robben, she isn't showing off lots of chops (even though you know with both of them that it's there). But every so often she drops some little thing in and you know this is serious player that has decided to play the groove and the song. She gets a bit more involved when the music turns fusiony, which just fits in with what is happening. Go to her web site and get her solo release "Soaring" which also has Robben, Jimmy's Haslip and Earl and Jeff Babco. Listen to the out solo on "Cosmo Sex Quiz" and you can see that there is more than straight ahead there. In fact that's what makes this tour so much fun. They're playing songs that Robben wrote but all are such great musicians that they can't help but spice it up a bit from time to time, and you never know where it will lead.
I also take back me earlier comment about Robbens changing the gain settings on his amp. I got stuck way off to the side in the first set (got there late) and had a near Daved's eye perspective of the stage. Robben was using the boost/bypass for most solos and only ocassionally hitting the overdrive channel. I only saw him hit both a couple of times but he was real light on the guitar or it would have probably done that old Blue Line thing. I guess he feels that this material is better served by a lower distortion, more traditional sound. Who am I to argue? He sounds great and I think the lower gain gives him a more expressive range of dynamics to play with. Worked for everybody there tonight!
Now Sleep _________________ There are no such things as wrong notes, there's only the look on your face.
My Stuff: www.stevekirbymusic.com
Just wanted to tell you how cool and entertaining your reviews are.The enthusiasm is highly contagious. Those descriptions leave no doubt that those were incredible shows!
Meanwhile the good news over here is that Robben is still going strong on the radio. Heard 'Keep on Runnin' again today on KGSR.
No need to tell you to have a great weekend,
Joined: 04 Nov 2003 Posts: 886 Location: SF Bay Area
Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:16 pm Post subject:
Heard 'Keep on Runnin' again today on KGSR.
Too cool. I was sitting in Quizno's sub shop yesterday having lunch and 'Keep on Runnin' came on over the background music. When Robben breaks into the Clear Channel programming, there's hope. _________________ There are no such things as wrong notes, there's only the look on your face.
My Stuff: www.stevekirbymusic.com
I was there for both sets as well, which was great because there were several different songs in the second set. As mentioned above, terrific performances by all. Some additional comments:
- Robben played Chevrolet on his Baker (both sets) yet I have always seen him play it on his Tele. I was amazed at close the Baker sounded to the Tele for this.
- I've never paid much attention to this in the past, but the tuning of Hilary's snare drum was soooo in the pocket - especially when she's laying down one the soft syncopated grooves for whoever was soloing.
I think it was on The Way You Treated Me that it hit me.
- Bob Malach - Wow! Did anyone else catch him throwing in a bar of 'Round Midnight during his Moonchild Blues solo? It worked. The way he weaves in and out of a song takes you on a tonal rollercoaster.
- Speaking of rollercoasters, as Aeolian noted, Robben & the band's use of dynamics in soloing and accompanying takes many of the songs to new territory. The energy and momentum generated going from minimal/quiet backing to juggernaut during the progression of a solo then right back down for the next soloist is so tasty. There was one point during one of Robben's solos when I think he cut his amp volume so much (using his volume pedal) that it sounded like he was playing an unamplified electric guitar.
- Besides playing guitar, Robben picked up a drumstick for an instant and did a little bit of cymbal work during Dwayne's stellar Help the Poor bass solo. Let's see ... he can also play sax and piano. I guess that leaves bass - I wonder what that would sound like?
Thanks to Robben & band (& Daved) for an inspirational evening!
What a terrific account of your fantastic experience! I am up in Alaska, and will probably never get a chance to see Robben, and so it is wonderful to live vicariously through you guys. Who knows, maybe someday a trip Outside will line up with a show, but the odds are slim. Thanks for sharing your good times. _________________ garylamarLOUDguitar
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