SSE Hydro, Glasgow

25 June 2017

Let's start by being honest and realistic. It's not 1976, and he doesn't play as if it was. That's just an inescapable fact, and you'd be a fool to expect or pretend otherwise. There are no 10-minute solos. And there are dodgy moments. Sometimes he gets lazy and strums his way through a solo like he's playing rhythm guitar instead of a lead solo, And there's a heavy reliance on using the slide, which isn't bad in itself but you wonder if he simply needs to give his fingers a rest. Sometimes his solos sound unfocused, like he's taken the wrong improvisational turn and can't work out where to go next. But those moments are few and far between in the the two-hour-plus set.

And then it clicks, and at a moment you think he's lost, he finds the most astounding flurry of notes, fingers flowing up and down the guitar as fast as ever, but more importantly as compositionally perfect as ever, and with his own unmistakably perfect tone, and in those moments, in those moments he still makes the most beautiful, sounds you will ever hear, he can still move me to tears, to stupid grins of happiness, and to drop-jawed astonishment at beauty of it, and he's still the best there ever was and the best there ever will be.

It was the best concert I've ever seen, ropey bits and all, and I'll happily travel hundreds more miles to see him again next week, ropey bits and all, because magic like this is better than anything.