Nils Lofgren

Club Madrid at Sunset Station, Aug. 27

He’s one of those guitarists whose hands you watch in amazement—they move so fast and effortlessly. Little wonder the late great saxophonist Clarence Clemons once called Nils Lofgren the best guitarist in the mighty E Street Band. Performing in Henderson, Lofgren proved not only to be a guitar-playing genius, but an all-around showman.

He displayed his virtuoso on a cornucopia of instruments: electric guitar, two acoustics, electric harp and keyboards. He even made music with his feet on a tap dancing board and with what appeared to be a pimp cane. With so much variation, Lofgren and Greg Varlotta (his only bandmate) made it sound like there was a full band onstage.

One highlight was the new song “Miss You Ray,” which was written for Ray Charles. But this special version, “Miss You C,” was dedicated to Clemons. It also acknowledged other fallen E Street family members Danny Federici and Terry Magovern.

Lofgren, who will always be connected with The Boss, did a nice take on the Bruce Springsteen/Patti Smith classic “Because the Night” complete with vintage Lofgren one-legged turns and kicks during the searing guitar solo. “Shine Silently,” one of the best songs ever written about being a performer on the road, closed out the night. And the man who has spent nearly 43 years touring received many standing ovations.



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