Review: Joe Bonamassa – Live in Concert

Review - Joe Bonamassa – Live in Concert

Photo by Gili Dailes Photography

We walked down to Brighton’s seafront on a Friday night to see the legendary American guitarist who opened for B.B King at the age of 12, Joe Bonamassa.

Playing guitar since he was 4 years old and with 16 solo albums being released in the past 14 years, Bonamassa did not let his Brighton audience down last night in what was promised to be ‘The Guitar Event of the Year’- and indeed it was.

Despite being ill earlier this week, which has forced him to cancel a Bournemouth show – Joe rocked the stage for more than 2 hours straight and will do it again tonight (Saturday).

“Whatever they injected me, it’s better than beer!” was Joe’s way of thanking the UK doctors mid-show, who made sure he’ll be vertical enough to keep the tour going.

The show started with an amusing announcement once the lights went off: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, tonight’s One Direction concert has been cancelled, but here’s Joe Bonamassa!”

With an approximate ratio of 35% singing to 65% soloing throughout the show, Joe demonstrated his incredible skills as a phenomenal blues artist. His guitar flawlessly squeals, jumps and bursts, with classic blues tradition while executed with ease and finesse.

One of the night’s highlights was when Joe interacted with the crowd while playing Gave Up Everything. Bonamassa was soloing for a few bars, then the crowd was cheering for a few more. Soloing then cheering, then soloing then cheering… All in a perfect balance, as if we’re all having a conversation with his guitar.

Then came Double Trouble, which started off with a beautiful solo by keyboardist Reese Wynans. This soulful ballad then turned into an intimate, minimal guitar solo that was at some points so quiet, that the crowd was in absolute silence- mesmerized by each note.

Review - Joe Bonamassa – Live in Concert

Photo by Gili Dailes Photography

The Ballad of John Henry – which was Joe’s last song before leaving the stage to then finish off with All Aboard as an encore- added oriental, heavy rock elements into the rocky-bluesy mixture that resembled Zeppelin’s Kashmir at some points. With windy slide guitar blows, leading to a percussive raga bit – this song made everyone stand on their feet and cheer, which was a perfect ending to a great night.

The lighting on stage worked beautifully with each song that was played, creating an enchanting atmosphere that really complimented Joe’s music throughout.

Our verdict?

Joe Bonamassa showed no signs of his poor medical condition this evening. He owned the stage, mastered every note and didn’t stop for a second.

We loved it, and we want more!

Words by Gili Dailes

Photos by Gili Dailes