EWE Arena, Oldenburg
9 maart 2016
Tekst en foto’s: Markus Hagner, Markus Hagner Photography
Joe Bonamassa is kind a restless, creative soul and after some time in the studio for the recording of his upcoming release “Blues Of Desperation” on Mascot- Provogue records he hit the European Roads again to perform live again.
When the lights dimmed down in the stylish and excellent by sound EWE Arena in Oldenburg there was to intonate “Ring Of Fire” by Johnny Cash, the high-voltage intro has vanished. Hammond B-3 legend Reese Wynans entered solo the stage and intonated as intro excerpts from „Locomotive Breath“. When mister Bonamassa hailed the stage there was a loud-blast of welcome-rejoicing and he finished the keys-solo with a thunderous and stormy axe solo melting into “This Train” as first title from his upcoming cd. A hooky blues-rocker with a Texas notch. Joe and Reese to duel each other the virtuoso, musical style. Hell of a hot start and the freaks were immediately on fire. By the secondary “Mountain Climbing” Joe was in the mood for some funky blues-rock featuring dynamic grooves by the rhythm section of Michael Rhodes on bass and Anton Fig on drums.
Joe was very much in the mood for extensive six-string solos this night. The title track of his upcoming maestro-opus “Blues Of Desperation” was the first highlight. A balladesque, exciting slower blues featuring desert-melodies by sound and Joe delivering his soul to the fans as bottleneck gun-slinger and by his empathic, powerful canto. On top there was this hard-rockin’ kind of a Led Zeppelin meeting Deep Purple middle-jam. Reese the old, but young by his heart B-3 wizard was really going wild and rising by his spacy solos the spirit of Jon Lord.
As exciting change of blues-style he was intonating “See See Baby” with a swinging attitude and gorgeous Lee Thorburg on trumpet and Paulie Cerra on sax. JB’s love for heavy blues-rock continued by an experimental instrumental song, with a beautiful melodious and calmer bottleneck-slide-extravagance in the middle part concluded by a stunning solo of Anton. Vow, how stunning, specially also to the fact that he really included all drum-parts and cymbals and did not just have some of them for show-outfit purposes. The master of the Gibson guitars, playing from a “LesPaul” to a “Flying V” different babies was this night very much in thoughts of his beloved mentor B.B. King and the top notch of songs definitely was the meditative “Nobody Loves Me But My Mother” with a gospel attitude.
Joe was proving that he can play also very sensitively his guitar. The show-time was passing by so quickly by so much diversity and by the blues-rocker with a buckshot of delta-blues “The Ballad of John Henry” the regular set was concluded. By hurricane applause Bonamassa and band-mates were returning to the stage to kick out the jams by the Muddy Waters blues-traditional the Chicago style “All Aboard”. By the final fan salute they could have played – All Night Long, but in this case after over 2 hours of gig-time the end was to come at the best… Everybody was reelin and rockin’ home with gloomy eyes and – Satisfaction Guaranteed…
A magical blues-rocking night by starry six-string-magician Joe Bonamassa was over*****
A little commentary at the end: Life can be hard for us professional music-photographers!
In advance we were informed by the promo-company that we will be allowed sidewards and 15 meters away from the stage. Ok, no problem with a 400 or even 500mm lens; but by fetching our photo-passes we were informed that we only would be allowed to photograph from the venue-balcony which was a distance to the stage of approximately 60 meters.
Dear managers; please consider for the future: We treat you and your artist utmost well by excellent cd, dvd, blu-ray and concert-reviews, so pls. grant us better photo-conditions to illuminate your artist the optimum way! Thank you…
Een geweldig concert in Oldenburg! Vanuit Groningen natuurlijk een afstandje van niks, voor middernacht weer thuis…. Maar daaraan vooraf gaand een geïnspireerde Bonamassa, die bijna 2 1/2 uur onafgebroken wist te imponeren. Zo veel energie, zo veel “action” , de moeite van een relatief kort ritje naar Oldenburg waard!