Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Landmarks like these are becoming more common for our beloved rock stars as Nils Lofgren celebrates 50 years of touring with 15 dates across the UK. As with the 2015 Face the Music tour he is joined by multi-instrumentalist Greg Varlotta in the stunning auditorium that is the Liverpool Philharmonic.
Opening with Wonderland, Nils and Greg cover songs from his time with Grin and his solo records, interspersed with stories of hooking up with Neil Young and David Briggs in the early days to how the song Black Books was used on the Sopranos soundtrack. Most of these stories, as Nils himself admits, are common knowledge to his fans but his laid back and engaging delivery perfectly suited the tempo of the evening. Most interesting was how the piano part in the middle and end of Southern Man, from After the Goldrush, came from Nils and Ralph Molina practicing and Nils adding a polka style to the playing of the part.
Highlights were a stunning rendition of Buffalo Springfield’s Flying On The Ground which Nils thought was the first time he had ever played live and the biggest cheers of the night for Greg Varlotta’s sparks flying tap dance percussion accompaniment to Mud In Your Eye.
At 66 years of age, two hip replacements mean the trampoline and somersaults of his younger days are missing but the voice and sublime guitar licks are all still in place and as the silk scarves trailed in his whirling encore of Shine Silently you could easily see him still doing this in another 10 years.
My 22 year old son remarked that he was the youngest there by a long way.
It made me think..
Who from today’s generation of musicians will be doing 50 year celebratory tours?