1 (edited by Bluemac 2015-02-26 07:20:01)

Topic: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Monday 23 February

I’m off to see Joe on Wednesday and it will be my first chance to see him play with essentially the same band format that produced the awesome RAH1 and TDF Shepherd’s Bush concerts, so I’m interested to see how this new set compares.

I was listening to some old recordings of Joe on The Pickup recently and he made a comment that many people still think that RAH1 was his finest work - and he may be right (that a lot of people think that, I mean). When people on the forum recommend albums for new people to listen to, they invariably pick RAH1 or LFNIP rather than any of the later studio albums, for example.

So what made the Joe of RAH1 and LFNIP so special? I think there are a couple of things: both sets included top quality songs of love, loss, death and hope from Joe himself and some of the finest songwriters/performers of recent decades. These songs not only struck an emotional chord with many listeners but also displayed a special ingredient John Mayer called ‘singability’. In a recent interview on writing lead and solo guitar parts for songs, Mayer said that fans really love lead and solo guitar parts that have a hook/melody/tune that they can sing in their heads when they are not actually listening to the music.

And I think this is key to the success of RAH1 and LFNIP - at that time Joe’s guitar work had singability in spades – from the obvious instrumentals Django and India to the lead intros to Asking Around for You and Last Kiss, to the solos in So Many Roads and Mountain Time, etc. – I can sing them all in my head now as I write. Joe’s guitar playing was, big, glorious AND melodic, charged with emotion and capable of making the hairs stand up on the back of your head. His solo on the Beacon Theatre version of I’ll Take Care of You with Beth Hart is another good example of the kind of glorious, singable solo that makes you want to reach for your air guitar…

So, I am interested to see what the concert is like on Wednesday – will it have the old Joe guitar magic? Will it compare with earlier horn band sets? Time will tell - let us see what happens on Wednesday – watch this space…

Thursday 26 February

So, we have just got back from seeing Joe play in Munich to a full house of around 2500 people. We were row 5, centre and so had a great view and, from our seats at least, great sound. On stage were 8 top notch professional musicians who played for 2 hours or so – rocking, bopping, funking, grooving with some outstanding keyboards from Reese Wynans, whose solos were regularly met with applause and ovations. It was slick and entertaining to be sure....

But – and this is a big but – as a showcase for Joe’s awesome guitar talent the whole thing was, unfortunately, a huge disappointment from start to finish. Things got off to a rough start with Oh Beautiful – while the song undoubtedly has a killer riff, Joe played one of the least inspiring solos I’ve ever heard him play – it was just fast, frantic, noisy and full of tuneless short runs, repetitions and go-nowhere vibrato. To be honest, I was kinda stunned...

And, for me at least, things did not really improve much from there - one generally non-standout song (by Joe’s standards) followed another and each one incorporated yet another fairly tuneless, repetitive, vibrato-ridden solo that really went nowhere, made no real emotional connection and sounded barely different to the one that had gone before it. Some songs like Double Trouble flattered to deceive before the solo eventually ended up with Joe once again down the bottom end of the neck playing repetitive and tuneless notes and vibrato. For me, the only stand-out song in the first dozen or so was a funky version of Look over Yonders Wall. By the time Sloe Gin came around I’d become even more stunned. Where were the glorious solos, the emotion, the atmosphere, the changes of tempo, the very skills that we’ve come to know and love - the very singability of his earlier work??

My feeling is that this set needs some major surgery – perhaps an injection of one or two older, top quality songs that go well with horns (there were plenty on the Shepherd’s Bush set), more variety of tempo and mood and, more importantly, some seriously reworked solos from Joe, with more depth, melody, variety, emotion and changes of tempo.

I don’t say any of this to diss Joe, who is after all one of my favourite artists. In spite of having a chest infection, he put his heart and soul into this set as he always does and I have nothing but respect for him as a person, a musician and a professional. But I just feel that this set didn’t quite work.

People may not like some of the stuff that I say on this forum, but I’m always honest – if I think something is excellent, I will say so, as I did in my review of Basel last year. But, by the same token, if I think something is not working, I will say that too – that is the whole point of writing reviews. I’m sure there will be plenty of you who might be tempted to disagree with my views, but I simply ask that you don’t attack me for expressing an honest opinion...

Even fools say something worthwhile now and again

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Thanks for the honest appraisal of Joe's concert.
Can you recall the full set-list ?
I assume that Joe was showcasing his new album which is different to some of his previous work in that the tracks are shorter and do not feature the longer guitar solos of the past.
Could you hear the horns ok? I was at the first RAH concert and found they were drowned out by the guitars and drums.
Sorry this particular concert didn't meet your expectations, it will be interesting to see if others agree or disagree.
I won't see Joe until 17th March so am not in a position to comment further.

Lester

He took it all too far,
but boy, could he play guitar.

3 (edited by Bluemac 2015-02-26 07:52:54)

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Lester wrote:

Thanks for the honest appraisal of Joe's concert.
Can you recall the full set-list ?
I assume that Joe was showcasing his new album which is different to some of his previous work in that the tracks are shorter and do not feature the longer guitar solos of the past.
Could you hear the horns ok? I was at the first RAH concert and found they were drowned out by the guitars and drums.
Sorry this particular concert didn't meet your expectations, it will be interesting to see if others agree or disagree.
I won't see Joe until 17th March so am not in a position to comment further.

Lester

No, sorry Lester, I didn't note down the setlist - apart from taking a couple of pictures, I generally prefer to just listen. I think it was very similar to the one posted for the Blues Cruise - with just Sloe Gin and John Henry from recent setlists and plenty of new songs from DSOB and Muddy/Wolf, etc....

Where we were sitting the horns sounded ok, they seemed to sit well in the mix - not too quiet, but also not too intrusive.

Even fools say something worthwhile now and again

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Very interesting review Bluemac. Just like Lester said, I will be interested to see if others agree with you or not. I will be seeing him in April so I have a while to wait. I can only imagine having a chest infection and trying to perform 100% for 2500, all the while just getting off a cruise ship playing in front of even more people. I can't imagine how bad his equilibrium was off. Sorry this show didn't meet your expectations

5 (edited by Bluemac 2015-02-26 11:17:34)

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

edragoo wrote:

Very interesting review Bluemac. Just like Lester said, I will be interested to see if others agree with you or not. I will be seeing him in April so I have a while to wait. I can only imagine having a chest infection and trying to perform 100% for 2500, all the while just getting off a cruise ship playing in front of even more people. I can't imagine how bad his equilibrium was off. Sorry this show didn't meet your expectations

Thanks, Erin. I watched some very recent videos of some of these songs today and the arrangements seemed basically pretty similar to last night, so I didn't get the impression that Joe had a completely different set of arrangements up his sleeve, but chose not to play them because he wasn't feeling 100%, or that the quality of his playing was significantly affected by his health. However, I'm more than happy to be corrected by anybody in a better position to say than I am.

Even fools say something worthwhile now and again

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Bluemac wrote:

Monday 23 February

I’m off to see Joe on Wednesday and it will be my first chance to see him play with essentially the same band format that produced the awesome RAH1 and TDF Shepherd’s Bush concerts, so I’m interested to see how this new set compares.

I was listening to some old recordings of Joe on The Pickup recently and he made a comment that many people still think that RAH1 was his finest work - and he may be right (that a lot of people think that, I mean). When people on the forum recommend albums for new people to listen to, they invariably pick RAH1 or LFNIP rather than any of the later studio albums, for example.

So what made the Joe of RAH1 and LFNIP so special? I think there are a couple of things: both sets included top quality songs of love, loss, death and hope from Joe himself and some of the finest songwriters/performers of recent decades. These songs not only struck an emotional chord with many listeners but also displayed a special ingredient John Mayer called ‘singability’. In a recent interview on writing lead and solo guitar parts for songs, Mayer said that fans really love lead and solo guitar parts that have a hook/melody/tune that they can sing in their heads when they are not actually listening to the music.

And I think this is key to the success of RAH1 and LFNIP - at that time Joe’s guitar work had singability in spades – from the obvious instrumentals Django and India to the lead intros to Asking Around for You and Last Kiss, to the solos in So Many Roads and Mountain Time, etc. – I can sing them all in my head now as I write. Joe’s guitar playing was, big, glorious AND melodic, charged with emotion and capable of making the hairs stand up on the back of your head. His solo on the Beacon Theatre version of I’ll Take Care of You with Beth Hart is another good example of the kind of glorious, singable solo that makes you want to reach for your air guitar…

So, I am interested to see what the concert is like on Wednesday – will it have the old Joe guitar magic? Will it compare with earlier horn band sets? Time will tell - let us see what happens on Wednesday – watch this space…

Thursday 26 February

So, we have just got back from seeing Joe play in Munich to a full house of around 2500 people. We were row 5, centre and so had a great view and, from our seats at least, great sound. On stage were 8 top notch professional musicians who played for 2 hours or so – rocking, bopping, funking, grooving with some outstanding keyboards from Reese Wynans, whose solos were regularly met with applause and ovations. It was slick and entertaining to be sure....

But – and this is a big but – as a showcase for Joe’s awesome guitar talent the whole thing was, unfortunately, a huge disappointment from start to finish. Things got off to a rough start with Oh Beautiful – while the song undoubtedly has a killer riff, Joe played one of the least inspiring solos I’ve ever heard him play – it was just fast, frantic, noisy and full of tuneless short runs, repetitions and go-nowhere vibrato. To be honest, I was kinda stunned...

And, for me at least, things did not really improve much from there - one generally non-standout song (by Joe’s standards) followed another and each one incorporated yet another fairly tuneless, repetitive, vibrato-ridden solo that really went nowhere, made no real emotional connection and sounded barely different to the one that had gone before it. Some songs like Double Trouble flattered to deceive before the solo eventually ended up with Joe once again down the bottom end of the neck playing repetitive and tuneless notes and vibrato. For me, the only stand-out song in the first dozen or so was a funky version of Look over Yonders Wall. By the time Sloe Gin came around I’d become even more stunned. Where were the glorious solos, the emotion, the atmosphere, the changes of tempo, the very skills that we’ve come to know and love - the very singability of his earlier work??

My feeling is that this set needs some major surgery – perhaps an injection of one or two older, top quality songs that go well with horns (there were plenty on the Shepherd’s Bush set), more variety of tempo and mood and, more importantly, some seriously reworked solos from Joe, with more depth, melody, variety, emotion and changes of tempo.

I don’t say any of this to diss Joe, who is after all one of my favourite artists. In spite of having a chest infection, he put his heart and soul into this set as he always does and I have nothing but respect for him as a person, a musician and a professional. But I just feel that this set didn’t quite work.

People may not like some of the stuff that I say on this forum, but I’m always honest – if I think something is excellent, I will say so, as I did in my review of Basel last year. But, by the same token, if I think something is not working, I will say that too – that is the whole point of writing reviews. I’m sure there will be plenty of you who might be tempted to disagree with my views, but I simply ask that you don’t attack me for expressing an honest opinion...

So, how do I distill your review down?  Either Joe phoned it in or he has gone totally stale in guitar soloing?  Both?? I ask, honestly, am I close to your perceptions??? 

But, the SOUND was GREAT!

Incidentally, I personally have very rarely heard melody or "singing" in solos by anyone outside of a religious setting.  No mention of vocals (singing).  That, in my opinion, is where the melody makes or breaks a composition.

I wonder how closely you have followed the career of B.B. King... hmm


Rock ON & Keep The Faith,
Rocket

"He still doesn't charge for mistakes! wink"
http://jbonamassa.com/tour-dates/
"Everybody wants ta get inta the act!"
“Now, this isn’t your ordinary party crowd, here.  I mean, there are professionals in here.”

7 (edited by Bluemac 2015-02-27 03:42:11)

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Rocket wrote:
Bluemac wrote:

.

So, how do I distill your review down?  Either Joe phoned it in or he has gone totally stale in guitar soloing?  Both?? I ask, honestly, am I close to your perceptions??? 

But, the SOUND was GREAT!

Incidentally, I personally have very rarely heard melody or "singing" in solos by anyone outside of a religious setting.  No mention of vocals (singing).  That, in my opinion, is where the melody makes or breaks a composition.

I wonder how closely you have followed the career of B.B. King... hmm


Rock ON & Keep The Faith,
Rocket

Hey Rocket, good to have you back. When I said the sound was great, I was, of course, referring to the sound quality in the seats where we were sitting.

You’ve clearly misunderstood what John Mayer was talking about with ‘singability’ – it has nothing to do with singing in the music, it’s a reference to the fact that if a lead or solo guitar part has a recognisable tune/melody/hook then people can easily sing or hum it either out loud or in their heads, which is one of the things that helps to make a song/solo truly memorable. Try humming Hendrix’s lead intro to All Along the Watchtower or Joe’s lead intros to Asking Around For You or So Many Roads or Clapton's solo in Badge, you’ll soon get the idea.

As for Joe’s soloing, here’s the thing. If we look back at Joe’s career to date, he’s used a great formula for live success – he’s taken some of the best songs he’s written himself as well as some top quality songs written by other great artists and he’s added his own supreme guitar talent to craft them into memorable, top quality live guitar songs – Blues Deluxe, The Great Flood, Mountain Time, John Henry, Sloe Gin, So Many Roads, Midnight Blues, Asking Around For You, etc. etc. This is the quality of song we have been treated to at gigs and this is the standard that we have come to expect.

Fast forward to now. In the current set, Joe has dropped all of these songs except John Henry and Sloe gin and introduced a dozen or so new songs, borrowing heavily from DSOB. Now, while DSOB is a pleasant, polished and professional album, I personally don’t feel it is an outstanding guitar album per se. If somebody came up to me and said ‘Go on then, I want to know if this Joe Bonawotsit is as good as you say he is - play a song to show me how good a guitarist he is’, then with all the will in the world, I wouldn’t choose a track off DSOB to highlight Joe’s guitar talent – I’d probably pick something off Blues Deluxe, John Henry or one of the live albums.

So, if you’re going to play a set of new (not-particularly great guitar) songs, then to bring them up to the standard of the songs people are used to and expect, you’re going to have to seriously rework them from a guitar perspective and craft them into equally good guitar songs. And on the evidence of the performance I saw this week, Joe hasn’t done that yet, and if I’m honest, he’s not even close to having done that.

But for all I know, he may have no intention of trying to turn them into true top quality guitar songs as good as his old stuff and that this is now the new him – maybe guitar-slinger Joe is a thing of the past and we’d better get used to it...

Even fools say something worthwhile now and again

8 (edited by GMac 2015-02-27 04:21:16)

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Nobody is suggesting that Joe ‘phoned it in’, that’s not his way. Even if he was bit under the weather, he still played with the same level of professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication that he always does. But to be honest, I felt the solos were quite dull too – it’s the first time I’ve ever felt a bit bored at a Joe concert. Maybe Joe is going in a new direction, as is his prerogative, and there will be plenty of people who love the way he is going - and maybe those of us who don’t like it so much would be better off staying home and listening to his old stuff.

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

You again...
You know I can only agree with the last speaker that if have become boring and dull then I have become boring and dull. What can I say.  I really sometimes think Bluemac that gigs that I do in particular come off in your mind in some radically different ways causing this visceral knee jerk reaction and a 2500 word essay on this forum to follow. I had an agent like that once. Play the show one night.. Brilliant he'd say... Play the exact same show jokes and all the very next night and I would be told to hang it up and learn a trade.  I never got it and frankly stopped listening to him because frankly it made no sense how one show differed that much from the next. Sloe Gin.. Same solo as Basel.. Break out the youtube my friend... Same notes!!!  Anyway not to give away the shop it's just  my take on your reviews in general. But.... Try getting out of bed let alone playing boring solos for 2 hours with a chest infection. And when you are done with that. Try singing... All the while going.. Why don't you just cancel and live to fight another day? Probably should of...and will consider more seriously next time if it's causing such aggregiously bad music.  Just didn't feel like putting 5000 people out over two nights. I would hope you could appreciate that being one of the 5000. But alas....
I'm not making any excusses but seriously I don't play guitar like I did in 2006/2009 anymore. I can do a RAH recital or play Live from Nowhere in Particular all day long that's not the point. It's the same gig we played at Radio City Music Hall and on the cruise to very positive reviews. Thank you...


Joe B

10 (edited by Bluemac 2015-02-27 05:55:28)

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Joe Bonamassa wrote:

You again...
You know I can only agree with the last speaker that if have become boring and dull then I have become boring and dull. What can I say.  I really sometimes think Bluemac that gigs that I do in particular come off in your mind in some radically different ways causing this visceral knee jerk reaction and a 2500 word essay on this forum to follow. I had an agent like that once. Play the show one night.. Brilliant he'd say... Play the exact same show jokes and all the very next night and I would be told to hang it up and learn a trade.  I never got it and frankly stopped listening to him because frankly it made no sense how one show differed that much from the next. Sloe Gin.. Same solo as Basel.. Break out the youtube my friend... Same notes!!!  Anyway not to give away the shop it's just  my take on your reviews in general. But.... Try getting out of bed let alone playing boring solos for 2 hours with a chest infection. And when you are done with that. Try singing... All the while going.. Why don't you just cancel and live to fight another day? Probably should of...and will consider more seriously next time if it's causing such aggregiously bad music.  Just didn't feel like putting 5000 people out over two nights. I would hope you could appreciate that being one of the 5000. But alas....
I'm not making any excusses but seriously I don't play guitar like I did in 2006/2009 anymore. I can do a RAH recital or play Live from Nowhere in Particular all day long that's not the point. It's the same gig we played at Radio City Music Hall and on the cruise to very positive reviews. Thank you...





Joe B

Yeah, me again, sorry Joe. There is never any disrespect intended here, the whole point of a review is to call it as you see it and the whole point of providing feedback is just that – to provide feedback, good and bad. I’ve gone on record often enough about how great you are and how much I like your music (otherwise I wouldn’t be at the concerts in the first place), so I think you already know the good feedback. And I think both Gmac and I praised you for your professionalism in turning out to play when you didn’t feel well.

The only point I would make is that this particular set, with the particular arrangements that it has, is something of a radical departure from your previous sets and this, I believe, is the key issue here - if WE arrived at the show with a certain set of expectations, based on our previous experiences, and these expectations were not necessarily fully met, because it was a different type of concert, then I’m sure plenty of other people over the coming months will arrive at your shows with the same expectations and may react in a similar way.

By discussing these issues and providing feedback now, early on in the tour, there is an opportunity to both manage people’s expectations in a positive sense and to make any changes you may deem appropriate. But if you feel there is no merit in anything at all that has been said here, then I respect that and I’m sure you’ll simply ignore it all and leave things as they are.

Even fools say something worthwhile now and again

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

I appreciate your comments as always Bluemac. The set will be the same tonight as it was in Munich.  I learned long ago not to go down this road. Trust your instincts and nothing else this way you have no one but yourself to blame.
Cheers
Joe B

PS aren't you and GMac the same guy? I recognize you in GMACs picture or is it the medication I am on? Plus remember I am a moderator so I can see the IP addresses are the SAME!!

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Joe Bonamassa wrote:

I appreciate your comments as always Bluemac. The set will be the same tonight as it was in Munich.  I learned long ago not to go down this road. Trust your instincts and nothing else this way you have no one but yourself to blame.
Cheers
Joe B

PS aren't you and GMac the same guy? I recognize you in GMACs picture or is it the medication I am on? Plus remember I am a moderator so I can see the IP addresses are the SAME!!

Yeah, Joe it IS the medication! :-)  GMac is my wife - you remember, the one who offered to hold me down while you gave me a good kicking when we met in Basel (bet you wish you'd taken her up on that offer now!) She's the good-looking one of the husband/wife team. She says 'hi', by the way!

Even fools say something worthwhile now and again

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Joe Bonamassa wrote:

I appreciate your comments as always Bluemac. The set will be the same tonight as it was in Munich.  I learned long ago not to go down this road. Trust your instincts and nothing else this way you have no one but yourself to blame.
Cheers
Joe B

PS aren't you and GMac the same guy? I recognize you in GMACs picture or is it the medication I am on? Plus remember I am a moderator so I can see the IP addresses are the SAME!!

Joe. Thanks for taking the time to drop into the forum.
Hope your chest infection clears up soon - those cruise ships are infamous for spreading bugs around in the aircon.
I assume the current set list will feature at Hammersmith, at least we now know the format of the new shows.
See you in London.

Lester

He took it all too far,
but boy, could he play guitar.

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

Is not the whole point of seeing live music to experience the moment just as it is? Our first JB gig was on the cruise and we were blown away with it. If you had asked me before what I hoped to hear from Joe's back catalog the list would have been a mile long so expected nothing. The only thing I did expect was DSOB to feature heavily as it is contemporary.

Were we disappointed not to hear our personal favorites - No! Would we expect to see the same set played note for note at the next gig we have booked for in Leeds later this year - No!

I have attended concerts were replacement musicians have had to be found and ones were excuses due to illness have been made and all have been enjoyable sometimes because of the adversity and the show must go on ethic, the only regrets are for the gigs cancelled.

I know everyone is entitled to an opinion, but opinions are not facts. I respect this but like to make my own mind up. Reviews have to be looked at in the round, like looking at trip advisor, if you focused on the bad reviews you would never find a hotel worth staying in!

I have not seen or heard anything bad about the KTBA cruise so 2000 plus people cant be wrong!

Roll on October!!

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

I have been attending shows since 2002 and over the years Joe has evolved and continues to evolve. I agree that RAH 2009 was a point in the evolution that I personally connected with which is strange because I also connected with the power trio days and never wanted him to change. The current band and set is just another point of the never ending process of Joe's evolving artistry. I suggest you do as I have done and quit trying to recapture the past. I live in the present and have learned to trust Joe's intuition on the direction he has been moving. The current set is much more high energy and faster paced than the RAH period. Again if I want to see the RAH period I pop in the DVD. I can't imagine that set still being played all these years later.

I believe the vast majority of fans appreciate the variety of shows he assembles for the tours and since he has no real hits he must play he has the freedom to reinvent himself from tour to tour. How many artists can play 4 or 5 songs off of a new album and several more from a recent tribute show and pull it off with totally different arrangements of the classic songs and bring a show that is new and fresh and in many ways flying without a net. It certainly would be much easier to play the RAH set the last 500 shows but Joe has never played it safe. I applaud him for his willingness to experiment and explore his talent and his ability to grow whether you personally like it or not. I don't think that should be a reason to not allow me to witness his transformation into the artist he will ultimately become. I don't know a lot about love, a line from Blues Deluxe but I do know Joe loves to play live and it shows. He also loves keeping it fresh. To me this show is a fresh as it can get considering it is steeped in tradition. To me this is the best show I have seen since the RAH 2009 era.

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

jim m wrote:

I have been attending shows since 2002 and over the years Joe has evolved and continues to evolve. I agree that RAH 2009 was a point in the evolution that I personally connected with which is strange because I also connected with the power trio days and never wanted him to change. The current band and set is just another point of the never ending process of Joe's evolving artistry. I suggest you do as I have done and quit trying to recapture the past. I live in the present and have learned to trust Joe's intuition on the direction he has been moving. The current set is much more high energy and faster paced than the RAH period. Again if I want to see the RAH period I pop in the DVD. I can't imagine that set still being played all these years later.

I believe the vast majority of fans appreciate the variety of shows he assembles for the tours and since he has no real hits he must play he has the freedom to reinvent himself from tour to tour. How many artists can play 4 or 5 songs off of a new album and several more from a recent tribute show and pull it off with totally different arrangements of the classic songs and bring a show that is new and fresh and in many ways flying without a net. It certainly would be much easier to play the RAH set the last 500 shows but Joe has never played it safe. I applaud him for his willingness to experiment and explore his talent and his ability to grow whether you personally like it or not. I don't think that should be a reason to not allow me to witness his transformation into the artist he will ultimately become. I don't know a lot about love, a line from Blues Deluxe but I do know Joe loves to play live and it shows. He also loves keeping it fresh. To me this show is a fresh as it can get considering it is steeped in tradition. To me this is the best show I have seen since the RAH 2009 era.

Exactly Jim, which is why I said "there will be plenty of people who love the way Joe is going". It's a good show and I too applaud Joe for always trying to keep things fresh. But I'm also entitled to give my opinion and say "it's not for me". It doesn't mean I suddenly don't like Joe, it just means I might choose to give this particular section of his work a miss.

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

I too have been attending Joe shows for numerous year and times, I've seen and heard a wide range of changes, that's what I love about Joe, to me he challenges the listener,  he has delved into to many areas of guitar music, Rock Blues Jazz Funk Country Acoustic and many more, this has also filtered onto his live show always new and fresh never trying to repeat, always looking for new ways to express Blues as the founding music genre through his own interpretation of his musi.
now some will not like this change, maybe it being a lighter sounding set, like today's with much more influences coming through of Joe early loves in music like the Muddy Wolf and The 3 Kings, to me it is so awesome that someone at the forefront and spearheading and redefining Modern Blues will take a chance and revitalise The Roots of all things Music,  it's a risk yeah cos it may go over the modern heads in the theatre but Joe takes risks and that's what's so cool and fresh about his live show, it is different from the power trio days the Rah set the acoustic set the Beacon setlist days and the last tour, I welcome the change the arrangements,  yeah maybe he was jet lagged cruise lagged and virus tagged, but Joe knows how to deliver and it's only the first 2 shows of the tour,  I'm sorry he didn't perform to your expectations for that night, we all have a nights off in life but he still gave 110% that's give.
I'm looking forward to more Blues from The 50's being given the Joe Treatment,  and so Glad, SO GLAD REESE IS HERE,
thanks for the fair input, we are all different and take different emotions from the live show.
Jim is right I think it's even better then RAH era, infact I would go as far to say this is Joe at his Best playing Blues

......... Michael
P's I just saw a Joe poster at St John Wood tube station lol

Joe Bonamassa .......  His Greatest 3 Videos ... IMMHO   After Much Deliberation
3rd ...... Mountain Time / Rockpalast       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h01xa6NMsJo
2nd ...... Sloe Gin       /  Vienna            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRASS8O8ZnE           
1st ....... Blues Deluxe / The Borderline    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnl3E_KLxYg

18 (edited by Bluemac 2015-02-27 08:45:48)

Re: Munich, February 25 - a review by Bluemac

jim m wrote:

I have been attending shows since 2002 and over the years Joe has evolved and continues to evolve. I agree that RAH 2009 was a point in the evolution that I personally connected with which is strange because I also connected with the power trio days and never wanted him to change. The current band and set is just another point of the never ending process of Joe's evolving artistry. I suggest you do as I have done and quit trying to recapture the past. I live in the present and have learned to trust Joe's intuition on the direction he has been moving. The current set is much more high energy and faster paced than the RAH period. Again if I want to see the RAH period I pop in the DVD. I can't imagine that set still being played all these years later.

I believe the vast majority of fans appreciate the variety of shows he assembles for the tours and since he has no real hits he must play he has the freedom to reinvent himself from tour to tour. How many artists can play 4 or 5 songs off of a new album and several more from a recent tribute show and pull it off with totally different arrangements of the classic songs and bring a show that is new and fresh and in many ways flying without a net. It certainly would be much easier to play the RAH set the last 500 shows but Joe has never played it safe. I applaud him for his willingness to experiment and explore his talent and his ability to grow whether you personally like it or not. I don't think that should be a reason to not allow me to witness his transformation into the artist he will ultimately become. I don't know a lot about love, a line from Blues Deluxe but I do know Joe loves to play live and it shows. He also loves keeping it fresh. To me this show is a fresh as it can get considering it is steeped in tradition. To me this is the best show I have seen since the RAH 2009 era.

I hear what you say Jim - Eric Steckel said in an interview recently that fans want to 'freeze' artists in that moment in time when they personally discovered them and don't like it when they change, so your point about trying to recapture the past is well made.

However, I think there is a bigger, more cultural-based issue at play here: the blues guys who've been really kicking it in Europe recently are still the straight-up power trio/four-piece guys - Ben Poole, King King, Eric Steckel, Laurence Jones, Ryan McGarvey, The Nimmo Brothers, Aynsley Lister, to name but a few - this kind of stuff is somehow part of our musical dna and we love it! To be fair, the kind of big blues band sound that Joe has at the moment has its roots more on your side of the Atlantic. If Joe were to bear this in mind and maybe pander a little to the prevailing tastes of the Europeans during his tour, I don't imagine many people would complain.

But hell, what do I know. I've said my bit, I obviously know Joe has heard me, so I'm staying out of it now and I naturally wish Joe every success with this tour from here on in...

Even fools say something worthwhile now and again