Joe Bonanmassa - Live At The Greek Theatre DVD
Over the last 16 years Joe Bonamassa has released over 30 albums, 12 of them are live albums which isn't that surprising considering his tagline is always on the road.
Lauded everywhere, he is unquestionably a highly skilled rock guitarist, influenced by the blues greats as well as the classic British blues players. And so it came to be that Bonamassa felt the need to honour those great American blues artists, specifically Albert, BB and Freddie King - The Three Kings.
This DVD was filmed at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre to 5,000 people, at the very end of a 14 date road trip across the USA, a venue Bonamassa could only dream of playing when he lived just down the road.
To be honest, I pushed the play button on my remote expecting this to be "just another" live DVD where I would skip through the less exciting bits. How wrong I was, I was simply blown away.
For a little over two hours I was sat mesmerised whilst the 22 songs passed through me, so much so that I didn't even finish my beer. The arrangements of the chosen songs is very well thought out, giving them the Bonamassa treatment and brought up-to-date without compromising their essential bluesy-ness. The performances by his hand-picked top-flight musicians is staggering; the horn section works beautifully and the backing singers have that old school style that is essential to making this work across the crème de la crème of these three Kings works.
And for the guitarist, Bonamassa showcases a mouth-watering collection of vintage guitars including a well worn Gibson Explorer, some Flying V’s, Les Paul's et al. The tone of each individual guitar clearly coming through the mix whilst his playing is a joy to watch.
It is a stratospheric performance. Bonamassa is clearly enjoying himself immensely which certainly comes through on the DVD. If this venue had a roof it would have been blown off early in the set.
The sound mix on the DVD is staggeringly good; the camerawork and editing are simply superb – something which is often lacking in other music DVDs so hats off to Bonamassa’s team for a job very well done.
Overall this is an absolutely stunning DVD and I cannot recommend it enough – it is also available as a CD and a 3 x LP set (I bet the LP’s sounds fabulous).
Joe Bonamassa returns to these shores with shows at London's Royal Albert Hall on 21st and 22nd of April 2017, let's hope they tied down the roof for those events. Tickets are available at the usual outlets.