Joe Bonamassa Genting Arena 16-3-18

Another quiet start to the year for the music world's hardest working man.

Black Country Communion's triumphant return to the live stage and releasing his 3rd album with Beth Hart the wonderful Black Coffee isn't enough with his latest studio album being completed and new live album British Blues Explosion Live also due out in May.
It's just business as usual for Joe Bonamassa.

How do you build a set list when your last album was released 2 year's ago?

You start the set with 4 new songs and 25 minute's of music all due to be released in September on his next studio album.Madness to some but Joe believes that his fan's are open minded enough and able to embrace his musical taste and from the audience reaction that's exactly what happened.

With his world class 7 piece band behind him and superb sound and moody lighting he can do no wrong.

For a little over 2 hour's we were treated to a set that looked back to the 3 Kings set,back to Blues Of Desperation and selected fan favourite's and forward to the British Blues Explosion set and of course the unnamed new album too.

Here is what they played.

King Bee Shakedown
Evil Mama
Just Cause You Can
Self Inflicted Wounds
I Get Evil (Albert King cover)
No Good Place For The Lonely
How Deep This River Runs
Breaking Up Somebody's Home (Albert King cover)(with Bernie Marsden)
Slow Train
Driving Towards The Daylight
Boogie With Stu (Led Zeppelin cover)
Last Kiss
How Many More Times (Led Zeppelin cover)
Encore of Hummingbird (BB King cover)

What I love when seeing Joe is not only the finest blues guitarist of this generation but also his band who are all world class musician's with cv's to match.

For this tour we had Anton Fig on drums,Michael Rhodes on bass,Reece Wynans on Hammond and keyboard's,the horn section of Lee Thornberg and Paulie Cerra and 2 backing vocalist's in Jade Mcrae and Juanita Tippins.
Everyone play's a part and Joe gives every one the chance to be centre stage and show off their talent's and it is a joy to watch.

New song King Bee Shakedown was an energetic opener with a rolling guitar riff and big chorus while Evil Mama had the first Reese Hammond solo of the evening as the man's fingers are a blur.He is a genius.
Self Inflicted Wounds saw the pace slow with a bluesy shuffle and Joe's guitar playing showing emotion,tone and passion as only he can.
It was fantastic to listen to music not yet put to cd and it will be interesting to see how the finished product grows from this live exposure.

After a blistering I Get Evil we dipped back to Blues For Desperation to the emotional No Good Place For The Lonely and the stunning mid song guitar solo that ranks's as one of Joe's very best before How Deep This River Runs.This song alone show's how hard Joe has worked on his voice and he possesses 2 world class instrument's and the 2 backing vocalist's both showed their wonderful tone and melody line on the chorus.Superb.

Breaking Up Someone's Home saw special guest Bernie Marsden join Joe with Bernie taking the first solo.Then Joe and then they traded solo after solo with Bernie showing what a class act he is.

Slow Train was amazing.The recorded output is merely a frame work to work off and this version was gob smacking.The intro with Joe's heavy guitar riff mirrored to Anton's drum rhythm and the light show was superb.Joe took the first verse before the girl's took the lead vocal's verse by verse and then after Joe's mid song solo Paulie then took over the lead vocal showing off a deep voice full of tone and Joe is now the backing singer.We need a recorded version of this tour now too.

Driving Towards The Daylight started on Joe's strummed intro with Lee's trumpet sounding bleak in comparison.Joe again shines on vocal as the song build's to the chorus with wonderful backing from the girl's.Reese has a solo spot with Joe taking a back seat before Paulie's sax solo with more backing from the girl's.Again the frame work is there and the song goes off at a tangent from the recorded output keeping it fresh and it ends back where we started with Joe strumming and Lee's trumpet.Stunning.

Boogie With Stu had the crowd on it's feet with Reese again solo mid song before Last Kiss had Anton at his clock work best driving the song with Joe's stop start guitar riff vibrant and the girl's backing vocal's enriching the chorus.Joe's lengthy mid song solo was mind blowing before the girl's vocal master class in the outro.

The huge guitar riff of How Many More Times was lovingly re created as last song of the set with the band dropping to a 4 piece of drums,bass,guitar and keys with a beautiful Hummingbird being the sole encore and bringing a superb evening to a close.

Joe Bonamassa and his amazing band have no rule book and continue to amaze and delight and push the boundaries and set standard's few if any can get close to.

Thank you.

All photo's used and credited with thanks to Adam Kennedy.

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