Wednesday, June 10, 2009

March and April concerts, part 2 - Robben Ford

On Thursday, April 9th, I saw Robben Ford perform at the Independent in San Francisco. Reportedly they were going to be recording a live CD during the two nights he was there (Wednesday and Thursday). I went with my friend and fellow guitar player Vinnie Caminiti, and we grabbed a nice bite of Indian food a few doors east of Divisadero and a couple of blocks north of the venue.

There was an opening act, the Big Organ Trio, who were quite good. Usually "organ trio" means Hammond organ (filling the bass role too), guitar, and drums, but the Big Organ Trio was Hammond organ, bass, and drums.

Then Robben and his trio (Travis Carlton on bass and Toss Panos on drums) took the stage and launched into an absolutely incendiary set. If this is going to come out on CD, it's going to be killer. Robben was at the top of his form. He seems to really love working with Carlton and Panos - they are a superb rhythm section. Especially Panos, who was astonishingly good.

Here's a couple of raw video clips from the show:

"Cannonball Shuffle"
"There'll Never Be Another You" (I think that was this number; includes a bit of a drum solo)

In the second set the trio was joined by Neal Evans of Soulive on Hammond B-3, and everything kicked up a notch. Evans is a great player, and he fit right in, providing some nice harmonic underpinning for Robben's solos, and taking great solos himself.

The venue was also pretty fine, everything sounded rich and well-balanced. All in all a wonderful show.