Winwood Is Still In The High Life

Concert Review
Steve Winwood
Seneca Allegany Events Center
Salamanca, NY
Saturday April 29, 2017
Review/Photos:Joseph Suto

The Seneca Allegany Events Center came alive with the sounds of Steve Winwood and his band Saturday evening. Winwood’s 105-minute set featured songs from all phases of his lengthy career. Songs from the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and his solo career were delved out to the adoring crowd.

The show began with a 30-minute warm up set by Winwood’s daughter Lilly. Lilly Winwood played an brief acoustic solo set that featured songs from her debut EP Silver Stage.

After a short intermission, Steve Winwood and his band took the stage. Winwood started off on mandolin for the title cut to his 1986 released album “Back In The High Life”. It should be noted, while Winwood played the organ for most of the set, he did play guitar on a few tracks as well.

To no one’s surprise, the best received songs of the set were Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home”, “Higher Love” and the Spencer Davis classic “Gimme Some Lovin’.” In my estimation, the song that took the honors was the Traffic classic “The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys”. This band really does the song justice.

Joining Winwood were guitarist Jose’ Neto, multi-instrumentalist Paul Booth, percussionist Edson “Café” Da Silva and drummer Richard Bailey. These cats have played with Winwood for quite some time and have really gelled into an amazing band. During the lengthy jam “Light Up or Leave Me Alone” each member took a turn to solo and was able to display their talents.

Winwwood has taken it easier over the years. He averages 15-25 shows a year which makes the shows more pleasureable as the musicianship is impeccable and fresh sounding. Having seen Winwood a few times now, about the only thing that would have made the show better would be the inclusion of a few more of his bigger hits from his solo career. It was almost an injustice to not hear such gems as “While You See A Chance”, “The Finer Things” or “Roll With It”.

Set List
Back In The High Life Again
Pearly Queen
I’m A Man
Them Changes
Can’t Find My Way Home
Had To Cry Today
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Empty Pages
Light Up Or Leave Me Alone
Higher Love

Dear Mr. Fantasy
Gimme Some Lovin’

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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