Joe Bonamassa really needs no introduction now; I think he has single handedly given the blues its well-deserved kick up the butt and re-ignited the scene. There are so many blues artists coming to the fore: King King, Aaron Keylock, Dan Patlansky, Aynsley Lister, Sari Schorr and many more that owe the current popularity of the blues to Joe, as he has generated an enormous amount of interest in the genre lately.
Live At The Greek Theatre is the culmination of a tour that showcased over two hours of the blues heritage that Joe Bonamassa grew up on, the music of the three Kings of the golden age of the blues, Albert King, B.B. King and Freddie King. As a child prodigy on guitar, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King at the age of 12 and was profiled on NBC’s “Real Life With Jane Pauley” a year later in 1991. Successfully transitioning to an adult career, he’s traded licks onstage with Eric Clapton, toured the globe and has sold more than 2.5 million albums.
The live DVD clocks in at over two hours. You also get a bonus feature which is packed with behind the scenes interviews with his parents, plus lots of archive footage. There’s also a photo gallery, as well as the music video for “Riding with the Kings.” As we have begun to expect now from a Bonamassa live release, the picture quality is excellent, it’s well edited and with the different cameras used to showcase the rest of Joe’s band, it makes it feel like a group effort in bringing these blues classics back to life, and not just Joe’s solo mission. The sound quality is superb too, but I wasn’t expecting it to be anything less.
The live production for this show is massive, Joe has an eleven piece band backing him up, which includes Anton Fig, Kirk Fletcher, Reese Wynans and Nick Lane as well as a trio of backing singers.
These twenty two tracks Joe and his band play are a mixture of classics and obscure little known tracks that Joe has handpicked for no other reason than the pure love he has for them.
The soundstage Joe performs these songs on is massive. With the large stage and full band Joe recreates how these songs used to be played. During the course of the show, he plays a range of guitars – usually around a dozen, but what is special about this concert is that he plays a 1972 Dan Erlewine custom Flying V that was originally owned by Freddie King, now that is a magical moment.
The whole gig is a highlight, there are just too many great tracks on here to choose a favourite from, so we’ll take a lot instead. “The Thrill Is Gone,” “Boogie Woogie Woman,” “Let The Good Times Roll,” “Cadillac Assembly Line,” “Oh, Pretty Woman” and “Born Under A Bad Sign” have easily stood the test of time, and with Joe’s mastery of the guitar, these sound fresh and full of life.
‘Live At The Greek Theatre’ is one of those DVD’s that make you wish you had been lucky enough to be there, it drags you in as you get to experience the magic of Joe Bonamassa live.
- See See Baby
- Some Other Day, Some Other Time
- Lonesome Whistle Blues
- Sittin’ On The Boat Dock
- You’ve Got To Love Her With A Feeling
- Going Down
- I’ll Play The Blues For You
- I Get Evil
- Breaking Up Somebody’s Home
- Angel Of Mercy
- Cadillac Assembly Line
- Oh, Pretty Woman
- Let The Good Times Roll
- Never Make Your Move Too Soon
- Ole Time Religion
- Nobody Loves Me But My Mother
- Boogie Woogie Woman
- Hide Away
- Born Under A Bad Sign
- The Thrill Is Gone
- Riding With The Kings (Credits)