Steve Miller Band
(Jerome-Duncan Ford Theatre, Sterling Heights, MI - September 2nd, 2004)
Steve Miller's career has encompassed two distinct stages: one of the top San Francisco blues-rockers during the late '60s and early '70s, and one of the top-selling pop/rock acts of the mid- to late '70s and early '80s. Tonight he showcased a plethora of both.
Taking to the stage, it's his lack of black clothing that's the first thing that catches the eye. Seemingly born from the same cloth as the late, great Johnny Cash, Miller now resembles a woodsman more than any musical Troubadour! The ensemble is completed by his sliver-frosted hair, the lack of black hair dye yet another visual depicting a man more content with his music over his appearance than ever before.
"Hey there everyone, it's good to be back. You wanna go down to Swingtown?" he asks as he and his eclectic backing band break into the song, before following it up with 'Livin' In The USA' and 'Abracadabra.' The flannel-shirted one sure doesn't talk much during his shows, but what he lacks in verbiage he sure makes up for with extended blues guitar breaks!
Heavily lit in purple and blue lights, the old school 'Mercury Blues' is played next, and quickly followed by The Yardbirds' 'Got Love If You Want It,' Junior Wells' 'Snatch It Back and Hold It,' Freddie King's 'Tore Down,' and finally a tribute to the late, great Ray Charles on 'I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town.'
"I think it's about time we played y'all a love rumba, don't you?" he asks the crowd, before heading off into 'All Your Lovin'. As we head into the final bend of the musical proceedings, it's classic Miller time all the way through! 'Dance, Dance, Dance' is the first and brings people to their feet everywhere. A heavily-extended, and rap-inclusive 'Fly Like an Eagle' is then followed by 'Take The Money And Run,' 'Rock N' Me,' 'Jungle Rock,' and the set closer 'Jet Airliner'. The one encore song of his all-time classic 'The Joker' is greeted by rapturous applause throughout the crowd and then he is gone for yet another year.
Photos and Review by Russell A. Trunk