February 14, 2006
Rockers—especially hard rockers—never attained the timeless grace of blues, jazz, classical, and country artists who can grow old without seeming out of it. Much of this sad truth is due to the ever-youthful demands of pop culture, and has nothing to do with the artists themselves, who can often knock 20 or 30 years off their chronological age by simply digging into a guitar. Robin Trower is a perfect case study. He’s a true geezer with a face that has more lines and age spots than Willie Nelson’s. But, he can still rage on guitar, and his mysterious and liquid tone is just as sexy today as it was in the ’70s. And the crowd at the 2005 Rockpalast Festival in Germany—where this DVD was filmed—could care less about the ravages of time. They wish Trower a happy birthday (with lighted sparklers), and flip out at every soaring bend and funky riff. The hits are covered (“Too Rolling Stoned,” “Daydream,” “Day of the Eagle,” “Bridge of Sighs,” etc.), and the newer material rocks hard. The 5.1 audio is big. It seems the producers figured most people don’t sit in a “sweet spot” to experience all the subtle dimensional goodies of surround sound, so they simply threw a relatively full mix to the rear speakers. The result is a thrill-inducing panorama that pummels the room with sound. Yeah! (Ruf).