Pine Knob, 1988

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Forget about the Michelob ads; on Tuesday at Pine Knob, the night belonged to Steve Winwood.

Though still suffering from voice problems that forced him to cancel a concert Monday night, the British singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist - who appears in Michelob beer ads - put on a sturdy display of more than 2 decades of music-making. With almost 15,500 fans giving him frequent standing ovations, Winwood dipped into his past for songs from his days with Spencer Davis Group ("I'm a Man", "Gimme Some Lovin'") and Traffic ("The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys", "Glad").

But the real crowd pleaser was his string of recent hit singles, including "While You See a Chance", "Valerie", "Higher Love", "The Finer Things", and "Back in the High Life Again".

Good as it was, the 18-song, almost 2-hour show had weak spots. The pacing was a bit awkward, the first half of the concert front-loaded with unfamiliar material from Winwood's recently released Roll With It album. And there was some problem with the sound mix throughout the evening, with grating feedback spoiling renditions of "Holding On" and "Don't You Know What the Night Can Do".

But with the crowd behind him, Winwood weathered those problems, indicatiing that another decade of stardom is probably ahead.

-- Gary Graff, Detroit Free Press, July 13, 1988

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Page created October 27, 1998.
Last updated October 27, 1998.
© 1998 by the author; reproduce only for non-commercial purposes and with full attribution.