Nils Lofgren extended his reputation as a sideman extraordinaire when he joined the E Street Band just before Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." tour.
Many of those folks who enjoyed his work for The Boss may not realize that Lofgren's also a self-employed rocker who's done several solo records and tours--like the one that brought him to the Coach House on Wednesday night.
The show reinforced the longstanding Lofgren Theorem: While his albums have been wildly uneven, his concerts are stunning affairs. The format, though, was a little different this time around. The set began as a solo-acoustic evening--a seated Lofgren accompanying himself on guitar--and ended up quite electric, with accompaniment by two keyboardist-guitarists (including his brother Tom).
Operating without a rhythm section didn't prevent Lofgren from generating considerable power Wednesday. Early in the evening, while still alone on stage, he played "Keith Don't Go" (an 11-year-old salute to Keith Richards) that remains an affecting, forceful tune--despite the spare rendition.