By JACK LLOYD
Of The Inquirer Staff
Traffic, one of those rapidly dwindling links with rock's past, rolled into Philadelphia Friday night for a concert at the Spectrum, and once again demonstrated why it has achieved venerable status. This elite British rock group, formed in 1967, lured a capacity crowd of 19,500 into the South Philadelphia arena, and the fans did not turn out just for old time's sake.
As a unit, these fine musicians bring to one band any number of influences that add up to a powerhouse yet intricate total sound. There is often excitement, force and electrifying impact, relating to rock's earlier days.
BUT THERE is also a delicate texture to the music that can be traced to the finer elements in jazz. Traffic's subtleties are nicely demonstrated in its latest material, such as the songs of appear on a new Island Records album titled Shoot-Out At The Fantasy Factory.
The evening's only disappointment came when it was announced that Free -another British group booked for the concert- would not appear because of an ankle injury to lead singer Paul Rodgers.
The bill also included John Martyn, an acoustic performer who simply did not come off in the unenviable role of lead-off performer. Martyn is the type of performer who is best showcased in the intimate surroundings of a small club - not in front of 19,500 rock fans who have come out for an evening of high-powered music.
The complete review was printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer of Saturday, 3 February 1973.