The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Joe Bonamassa - Live Review
JOE BONAMASSA
PERTH CONCERT HALL, PERTH
September 25th 2016

JOE BONAMASSA

Joe Bonamassa never disappoints, whilst some artists trot out the same show and the same songs year in year out every time Joe reaches our shores it's with a new setlist and a new show. After sellout 'British Blues Explosion' in Europe and the UK recently he's back in Australia to bring us the 'Blues of Desperation' Tour that audiences in the US got to see earlier in the year.
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Billed by our editor as Joe's best album, period (which I thought was a huge call) live on stage the 'Blues of Desperation' set is augmented by local backing singers - namely 'Mahalia Barnes and the Soul Mates' and a smattering of brass as well as the usual partners in crime.

The set itself doesn't as much start as explode and carries on for what could well be the best two and a half hours of music you'll hear all year. Billed as 'The guitar event of the year' there are no doubt many in the crowd salivating over some of the guitars that Joe introduces to the stage, it's only two songs in that  the 60's Gibson Firebird comes out to audible gasps from a packed house!




And of course it's a packed house, it always is for the Bluesman who has built it all from the ground up and carries on the fine tradition of the Blues greats. What is especially cool this tour is that the set starts with a nice big grab from the latest album, whilst many lesser artists would warm up the crowd Joe obviously has a lot of love and faith for the new material, indeed it's really only the covers and classics that get a look in apart from cuts from the latest and 2014's 'Different Shades of Blue'.




The relentless drive of THIS TRAIN makes it the perfect opener for a set that bursts into life just like the album does with the opening trio straight from the vinyl. MOUNTAIN CLIMBING sees that Firebird get a real workout before the gentle almost 'outback' opening and fiery thrust of BLUES OF DESPERATION itself. It's set though that also includes another couple from the album: HOW DEEP THIS RIVER RUNS, with backing singers and brass adding power to the vocal thrust as emotions run deep as Joe piles into a fiery solo, and the empty landscape sweet desolation of DRIVE.




After that wonderful opening of course the covers and old favourites come, and it's clear that Joe is vocally in top form, his voice seemingly bigger and richer each visit.  If you're new to Joe I'd challenge anyone not to be moved by his cover of Tim Curry's raw emotional 'Sloe Gin' or his own riff heavy masterpiece 'The Ballad of John Henry'.




With Joe Bonamassa you never go home unrewarded and you always go home wanting more. I hope the rest of Australia enjoys this as much as I did as for me it's not only the 'Guitar Event of the Year', it's the concert of the year.


Photo Gallery - click to enlarge



JOE BONAMASSA AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2016:

Sun 25th Sept - Perth Concert Hall Perth WA 
Wed 28th Sept - QPAC Brisbane QLD 
Fri 30th Sept - Sydney Opera House Sydney NSW 
Sun 2nd Oct - Thebarton Theatre Adelaide SA 
Wed 5th Oct - Palais Theatre Melbourne VIC

Tickets and tour details can be found HERE.


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Review by Tim Bradshaw
Photos by The Rockpit