Boz Scaggs is nothing less than a virtuoso at his craft. He is a master of easy listening rock ‘n’ roll with hits like “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle.” The Grand Sierra Resort’s Grand Theatre is the perfect venue for him.
It’s hard for Scaggs to put together a set list that isn’t 100 percent recognizable hit songs that he either wrote, or had a hit with. Case in point: he started the show with “It’s Over” off of his five-time platinum album, “Silk Degrees.”
The stage setup was about as stark as possible, with no fancy backdrops or video screens brought in. The video screens used by The Grand Theatre weren’t even fired up during the show. I didn’t even notice a point where anybody in the band strayed outside of a 3-foot-diameter circle from where they were standing, but none of that seemed to matter to his fans. They were there for his songs, his voice, and his playing. They got a great performance too.
Scaggs’ commitment to his art had him touring briefly in London at an early age. Upon returning to the US and moving in on the San Francisco scene in 1967, he met up again with his childhood friend Steve Miller and began playing and recording with his band. After recording several albums over the years, he hit gold with “Silk Degrees” in 1976. This put him on the map for good.
Other selections he played from that album on this evening were “Georgia,” “Harbor Lights,” “Lowdown,” and “Lido Shuffle.” Everything got a very warm welcome from the audience. Michael Logan played some fantastic Fender Rhodes riffs in “Harbor Lights.”
A huge highlight of the night was his encore performance of “Loan Me A Dime” which he recorded on his second album back in 1969. I remember this as being a stand out the last time I saw him. He closed the show with a tribute to Chuck Berry with Chuck’s song, “Never Can Tell,” also known as “C’est La Vie” (from the “Pulp Fiction” twist tontest scene). It was a great performance complete with sax solo by Eric Crystal.
Coming off of a four-hour show two nights earlier, this seemed like a short show, but the clock does not lie. Scaggs and his band gave us a 90-minute set, which is pretty standard these days. At 73 years old you might think his voice would quiver or stray from pitch, but he was spot-on all night. His guitar playing is still as smooth as ever. He’s had a long and gifted career that seems like it could keep on going for as long as he wants it to.
There were some empty seats (not a lot) at the Saturday evening show. What were you doing? If you were home watching TV, you should have gotten out of the house and listened to some live music. The TV will be there when you get home.
Boz Scaggs – Vocals Guitar
Michael Miller – Guitar
Eric Crystal – Keyboards, Guitar, Sax
Michael Logan – Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
David Northrup – Drums
Richard Harrison – Bass
“Drowning In The Sea of Love”
“Look You’ve Done To Me”
“What Can I Say”
“Loan Me A Dime”
“Never Can Tell”