Steve Winwood Opens 2017 Tour With Survey of Hits

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Steve Winwood performing on April 20, 2017

On opening night of his 2017 tour, at The Space at Westbury, in Westbury, N.Y. on April 20, Steve Winwood gave his fans a tour of his entire career. His 13-song set featured the two big hits that launched his career as a teen prodigy with the Spencer Davis Group, “Gimme Some Lovin’” and “I’m a Man,” and continued into his days with Traffic (a full six songs, including “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” “Pearly Queen” and “Empty Pages”), Blind Faith (“Had to Cry Today” and “Can’t Find My Way Home”) and his solo career (“Higher Love”).

Winwood, born May 12, 1948, opened the show with a solo favorite, “Back in the High Life Again”

Next up was “I’m a Man.”

The musician has many songs in his repertoire that can be considered signature tunes. One of these is a Blind Faith classic.

Watch Winwood performing “Can’t Find My Way Home” on opening night

Winwood, who played both guitar and keyboards, also threw in a cover of Buddy Miles’ “Them Changes,” made famous when the late drummer was part of Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys.

Watch him perform the song later in that same tour

Winwood’s daughter, Lilly Winwood, opened the show, as she did on all of the tour dates.

Steve Winwood Westbury, NY, April 20, 2017 Setlist (with original artists in parentheses)

Back in the High Life Again (from Winwood’s Back in the High Life album)
I’m a Man (Spencer Davis Group)
Pearly Queen (Traffic)
At Times We Do Forget (from Winwood’s Nine Lives album)
Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith)
Them Changes (Buddy Miles cover)
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic)
Had to Cry Today (Blind Faith)
Light Up or Leave Me Alone (Traffic)
Empty Pages (Traffic)
Higher Love (from Winwood’s Back in the High Life album)

For his encore, he reached back to two crowd favorites from his early career

Watch Winwood perform “Dear Mr. Fantasy” at Westbury

Related: Our Album Rewind of Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy

Encore:
Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic)
Gimme Some Lovin’ (Spencer Davis Group)

Watch the finale from a few nights’ later

Related: Looking back at Winwood’s 1977 solo debut

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  1. Da Mick
    #1 Da Mick 13 May, 2022, 10:51

    I’ve Loved Winwood’s voice, his musicianship, and his music, in all its incarnations from his earliest days. Traffic’s recordings will always hold an especially fond place in my heart, and I’ve always felt that his Spencer Davis Group recordings are some of the best seminal British rock ever, with “Gimme Some Lovin” being probably the greatest single rock song of all time. That said, I have to say that I was disappointed and somewhat frustrated seeing Winwood live on this tour, as the sound coming off the stage was simply lacking without a bass guitar anchoring the band. I know Traffic didn’t have a bass either, but somehow, they pulled it off, whereas his current band is much more rhythm heavy with no bottom. That classic voice is there, but, sadly, it seems kind of ridiculous to handicap the band’s sound with no bottom. Also, if I’m honest, his guitar player playing primarily an electrified acoustic guitar, for the majority of the show, seems like a waste of space, and doesn’t give the band any sort of guts. I hate to complain about someone I’ve admired all my life, but as I said, I went away from the show feeling frustrated and dismayed. Those are not the feelings I was anticipating or expecting upon my arrival.

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