Nils Lofgren is currently out on the road across the UK in celebration of his 50th year of touring as a professional musician.

This evening the legendary roots-rock troubadour brings his acoustic evening of songs and stories to the North East of England where a packed out audience awaits him.

Having had a long and successful career in the music industry, each song in Nils Lofgren’s two-hour set is backed up by witty tales and informative backstories giving the fans in attendance at the Sage Gateshead a deeper insight into his life’s work.

The US-based artist is also joined on stage frequently throughout the show by the versatile and multi-talented Greg Varlotta, who plays amongst other things keyboards, trumpet and guitar as the evening progresses.

There are so many songs that stand out in the show. Lofgren includes in the setlist the beautifully intricate and somewhat atmospheric “Black Books”, which also featured on hit HBO TV show The Sopranos. During the incredibly catchy “Girl In Motion,” Nils utilises a loop pedal whilst layering both the lead and rhythm guitar parts to great effect.

From behind his trusty keyboard, the gifted multi-instrumentalist performs beautifully during his take on Carol King’s “Goin’ Back” as well as sharing tales about working with Neil Young and how the hit song “Southern Man” came to fruition.

Lofgren’s tenure with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is now in its impressive 34th year. During 27 of those years, Nils played side by side with the group’s talismanic saxophonist Clarence Clemons before his tragic passing in 2011. Lofgren delivers a heartfelt tribute to ‘The Big Man’ himself during a touching and sincere performance of “Miss You C”. The aforementioned heartbreaking number being enough to bring a lump to anyone’s throat. Likewise, Lofgren pays homage to one of his longtime heroes – Rolling Stones axeman Keith Richards during a passionate airing of the classic “Keith Don’t Go”.

Nils Lofgren is full of surprises throughout. He takes the blues to a whole new level during “Too Many Miles”. The incredible number commences with a delicate opening performed on a lever harp before reaching its explosive and fully electrified conclusion of his trusty Fender Stratocaster. Likewise, a showstopping airing of “Mud In Your Eye” comes complete with rhythmic tap dancing from Varlotta.

The main set is brought to a close as Nils Lofgren turns his guitar up to 11 and really rocks out with one of his favourite Springsteen songs “Because The Night”,  before leaving the stage to a standing ovation from the Tyneside audience.

Lofgren completes his mesmerising fifth instrument change as he brings the show to its end with his jaw-dropping take on “Flight Of The Bumblebee” performed entirely on an accordion.

Throughout the course of his musical marathon, Nils Lofgren portrays the many different facets of his artistry. With frequent instrument changes during the show and a set traversing a whole raft of musical sounds and styles, it’s fair to say that his unprecedented talent shows no bounds. 

Nils Lofgren
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Event Date: 21-May-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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