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Joe Bonamassa
: Royal Albert Hall, London, U.K.

Last weekend the clocks went forward to welcome in British Summer Time, and it couldn’t have been better timed as the extra daylight lit up the illustrious Royal Albert Hall as I approached on this spring evening in London. This iconic venue played host to Joe Bonamassa, a virtuoso of contemporary blues-rock, for a spellbinding performance that enraptured a seasoned audience of music aficionados. Bonamassa, celebrated for his soulful guitar prowess and commanding stage presence, delivered a concert that was nothing short of electrifying.

This night was also important to Bonamassa himself. It was the fifteenth anniversary of him playing this venue for the first time. Worried it would be a flash in the pan back in 2009, this was his twelfth occasion of headlining the stage in front of the world-famous organ. With the floor seats, stalls, three levels of private boxes and the upper stalls – there was not an empty seat in the sold-out venue.

The evening began with the upbeat ‘Hope You Realize It’, from recent album ‘Blues Deluxe Vol. 2’ setting a contemplative mood that quickly transitioned into the lamenting blues rhythms of "24 Hour Blues." From the onset, Bonamassa's guitar work mesmerised, each note imbued with emotion and technical finesse.

One of the true pleasures of the evening was also witnessing Rock n’ Roll hall of famer, Reece Wynans on keyboards. The legend has been playing with Bonamassa for ten years, but is famous for playing with many superstars over his long career, including who he was inducted into the hall of fame with - Stevie Ray Vaughan.

A moment of collective fervor erupted during "Breakin’ Up Someone’s Home," where Bonamassa's guitar riffs soared, punctuated by thunderous applause from the appreciative audience. The setlist also included lesser-known gems like "Lazy Poker Blues," a nod to Bonamassa's deep appreciation for blues history, executed with authenticity and reverence.

The pinnacle of the night arrived with "Just Got Paid," a high-octane rendition that showcased Bonamassa's guitar wizardry and left the audience in awe. Not to mention, an increasingly important feeling for everyone in today’s society! ZZ Top would have been proud.

For the encore, Bonamassa returned to the stage to perform "Mountain Time," a poignant ballad that highlighted his melodic sensibilities, before closing with a blistering rendition of "Crossroads," paying homage to blues legends past. This was all the more resonate as he had paid tribute to rock and blues icon Bernie Marsden, who we sadly lost last year. As the band left the stage for the final time, and ‘No Business But Show Business’ echoed out around the venue, the crowd erupted in absolute adoration for Joe Bonamassa and his incredible band.

In the hallowed confines of the Royal Albert Hall, Joe Bonamassa's performance was a testament to the enduring power of blues music and the skill of a consummate musician at the peak of his craft. Having seen Joe before, this was an evening above his already high standards. The evening resonated deeply with its discerning audience, leaving an indelible mark on all those witnessing it and establishing Joe’s ongoing efforts to keep the blues alive.



You Realize It

24 Hour Blues

Well I Done Got Over It

Self Inflicted Wounds

Shout About It

Last Matador of Bayonne

Breakin Up Someones Home

Heart That Never Waits

Is It Safe To Go Home

Lazy Poker Blues

Just Got Paid


Mountain Time



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