This past weekend I joined my friends Lee and Al on a trip up to Birmingham for a concert performed by a guy named Joe Bonamassa. Who is Joe Bonamassa? Good question. I share a music bond with many of my close friends, and I heard about Joe through my friend Lee. One day he brought his guitar over to our place for a jam session and BBQ in the garden, and I asked him who is the best guitarist alive. His answer? Joe Bonamassa. We then queued up some Bonamassa tracks on youtube and I was convinced that this man could really play. Watch this song, from a tour in 2009:
What an opening lyric! “woke up dreaming, I was gonna die”. But even more than that, his fingers are moving so fast that they are a blur on this video. It turns out that Joe Bonamassa is regarded by many as the best guitarist of his generation and one of the best alive. So when I saw that he would be on tour here in the UK, I asked Lee if he would go and we had tickets something like 15 minutes later. Done and Done.
I really enjoyed going to the gig with Lee because he used to play in a band, and has an appreciation for all the different guitars and how difficult some of notes and sequences are. I would just enjoy the music and every once and a while look over at Lee’s face, or just hear him yell out because Bonamassa just did something amazing.
I went in to the concert really wanting to hear Woke Up Dreaming, so I figured as long as he played that I’d be happy. He played in on his acoustic guitar about 5 songs in and it was great. It was like the video above, but strangely enough it seemed like he played the notes EVEN FASTER in person. It was mesmerizing to listen to. And to top all that off, his electric songs were even better. This next song is is the middle of what I consider his best three song stretch of the concert:
He really makes that guitar sing doesn’t he? He played for at least two and a half hours, seemingly changing guitars every song, and playing notes in combinations that I didn’t know were possible. He made it look so effortless, and the other guys in the band were also very talented which made for a hell of a show.
I really enjoyed my triple B night as Lee called it – bros, beers, and Bonamassa. At least now I can have an opinion whenever someone asks who the best living guitarist is.