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Joe Bonamassa at The Dolby Theater: Review

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Joe Bonamassa Concert


We witnessed and savored a melodically powerful.....genre blending... energetic adrenaline pumping, musically explosive, drums-a-pounding, keyboard humming, bass guitar! It was a really fantastic show. Hard to put into words because I am still floating on the clouds with a humble sense of wonder and fascination at just how great Joe Bonamassa is and has become. I was very happy to see some special people: Derek Sherinian and Lenny Castro on stage.

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I often think about Joe Bonamassa and where and how this gentleman came from musically. There is no doubt that he and I and millions of other good people on this earth have something very great in common, and that is the joy...the love the passion and obsession with hearing great music. This was my first time seeing Joe without him being part of another one of his mind-blowing bands. Black Country Communion and Rock Candy Funk Party are those other bands which I saw both of them and enjoyed Joe and his "friends" (who are also top level players) performances beyond words. I absolutely love BCC and RCFP !!

This night's show began with an all acoustic set starting with "Woke Up Dreaming."Bonamassa played with a 4 piece band including Castro and Sherinian. For this tour you got the best of both worlds Bonamassa acoustic and electric all in one show. Bonamassa was surrounded by several guitars. Sherinian played an upright piano. Castro was pulling out every single tick tock noise making toy that he owns. He had spoons and washboards. . Joe was strumming beautifully in his trademark soulfully bluesy style. The stage was cozy looking with large decorative carpets. Joe had a large custom made carpet that adorned his initials in red,white and blue. All the acoustic players were obviously enjoying themselves as this type of musical performance is so unique and interesting. The sound at The Dolby Theater in my opinion was very very good from our vantage point. Joe was dressed very sharp as usual. A sharp designer suit, slicked back hair and dimmed colored sunglasses that fits his image .

Joe is a musical artist. He can paint many wonderful images in the form of musical soundscapes. His music will take you places and paint a picture with musical drama and an exciting rock,jazz,soul,blues,genuine country elements. He even has a slight progressive rock approach to his blend of guitar laden bluesy hard driving rock. He doesn't need much other than his gear and a good sound and light man and the rest is just pure raw God given talent. It was simply a blistering performance by one of rock and roll's current living legends. Joe was born to play guitar The fans and myself along with all of his fellow players would agree that he is a "God given talented legend" of eternal importance. Joe was very "in" to what he was doing on that stage. When the electric set began he opened up with the title track to his album "Dust Bowl".This was the second to last show of the tour with San Diego the following night being the last show. For "Crossroads" Bonamassa brought out a special guest to play with, ex-Ozzy Osbourne/ Black Label Society frontman and guitarist Zakk Wylde. It was very interesting to see the two together because of their playing styles. Bonamassa introduced him as a fellow Les Paul player.

It doesn't take a genius to clearly see that Joe must have been born with a God given talent to play guitar and sing. The good news in 2013 and beyond is that we have Joe Bonamassa carving us fans up large bountiful servings of great bluesy funky, hard driving, guitar destroying musical craftsmanship in his various projects and lets not forget that Joe has recently been nominated for a Grammy with his recent work with Beth Hart. Congratulations on that Joe. We will be applauding very loud for you. I am happy to know that I will certainly be at the Baked Potato again next time he brings his Rock Candy Funk Party back to that tiny intimate stage where the music literally passes right through your body. I will also be in attendance the next time Joe plays his solo band back to his home fans here in Los Angeles.

Acoustic setlist

1. Woke Up Dreaming

2. Seagull

3. Jelly Roll

4. Black Lung Heartache

5. Around the Bend

6. Jockey Full of Bourbon

7. Stones In My Passway

8. Ball Peen Hammer

9. Athens to Athens

Electric Set

1. Dust Bowl

2. Who's Been Talking

3. Midnight Blues

4. Dislocated Boy

5. Driving Towards the Daylight

6. Slow Train

7. Crossroads (With Zakk Wylde)

8. Sloe Gin

9. Ballad of John Henry


10. Django

11. Mountain Time

Review: Darren Bennion and Alex Kluft


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