April 1, 2008
The term "Guitar God" is often overused in today’s society, with video games and phones convincing the public they can get a taste of "Rock Star" glory with just a few touches on a keypad.
True string shredding icons of the instrument are few, and even fewer can be connected to a defining sound. The gifts on high along with a little practice have blessed British legend Robin Trower, and his set at Bogarts in Cincinnati on April 1st was, in a word, transcendental.
Touring behind his release with Cream bassist/singer Jack Bruce entitled Seven Moons, Trower attracted a crowd more prone to his shape-shifting concerts at big hockey arenas in the 1970’s. But, the master fret bender has lost none of his drive and purpose, burning notes that echoed through the hallowed building with reverberating feedback and distortion. He gave everyone what they came for, and a bit more.
"Little Bit of Sympathy" off of 1974’s towering Bridge of Sighs album provided Trower with a launch pad to go ballistic, pushing the envelope with molten, searing leads that made the hairs on the back of the neck stand on end. "The Fool and Me" and "Day of the Eagle" hold a special place in the hearts of guitar geeks everywhere, but that is not where the Robin Trower experience turned on April Fool’s night.
"Too Rolling Stoned" was a marvel to witness, with Trower forcing a new time standard to the age old nugget. He traded in an FM mothball for a fresh pair of ear candy, all the while endearing the musician to the younger attendees in the crowd. The evening’s highlight was one of the reasons Trower was tagged with the 70’s moniker, "The White Jimi Hendrix." Burning quickly through "Day of the Eagle," he flipped the performance on it’s head, overwhelming the sold out throng with a half hour tour de force spin on the "Bridge of Sighs" title track. Now, that’s a "Guitar God" for the ages.