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Bobby Keys And Band 2 At Highline Ballroom, July 28th, 2011

Back in the day Nils Lofgren left Grin for a solo career and finally lead guitarist with the E STreet Band. Nils is a talented fellow but he ain't a band leader.

Neither is Bobby Keys or Tim Reis or Lisa Fischer or Will Lee oor any of the rest of Band 2. Talented fellows all,Tim Reis in paricular is a great back up band leader, and the set,  two hous plus intermission, is a an interesting way for musicheads of a certain age tlisten to their favorite bands dressed down. But it was vaguely disappointing; you are paying to hear the man who played with the Crickets WHILE BUDDY HOLLY WAS STILL ALIVE. And you get him… to a degree. But if this is anyone's band it is Tim Resi's band and that isn't what we bought.

I went with Irene Diamond, a classical trained musician and a big time Stones fan, was baffled by the sets inability to take off. But that wasn't wuite the problem; the problem was we didn't want to follow where it was leading. Irene has promised to write a full review so I will keep mine on the skimpy side.

Yes, we were there to see Bobby Keys, and we did, but only for four numbers. He was fine, though out of breath between songs, and so self-effacing he seemed both delighted ("I don't wanna give back the mic now I've got it") and not willing to carry the situation and nobody else was up to the job. Perhaps you are in the market for a ten minute workout on "Satisfaction", I'm certainly not. Maybe warming up for a session waiting for Keith Richards to wake up from some hard drugs, fine. But as entertainment, it is sleep inducing. And it is the first song. And it Bobby isn't around (he doesn't come out for the aencore either). You know what it is like. It is like Ray Charles in the 1990s, watching his band primp for half an hour for no reason whatsoever because Charles no longer hat the energy for an hour long set but still wanted to be paid for an hour long set.

 Bassist Will Lee of the CBS Orchestra (not to mention the Fan Faux) was better and provided one of the the night's highlights with a terrific cover of "She's A Woman". From one bassist to another, you can hear what Will could hear in the bass lines.

Less succesful? A ""Come Together" which, despite her many gifts, Lisa Fischer failed to cash in on.

However the other unqualified wower of the night was a King Curtis number, "Soul Serenade" which pointed at what the night might have been if Bobby had wanted to do what he billed himself as doing: taking his history head on and leading through it. All well and good but we are all there to hear him blow his way through "Brown Sugar". We get "Satisfaction" and encore "Honky Tonk Woman" -both without Keys, but no sugar for us.

Oh, and what is with the fucking intermission?

I wonder what Irene will make of it.

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