Topic: Des Moines Civic Center March 9, 2017
Anyone wondering how sick Joe had to be to have rescheduled back-to-back shows (Peoria and Milwaukee) should have seen him last night in Des Moines. As Joe himself put it on his Twitter feed, "It wasn't my best, it wasn't my worst. I gave you 100 percent of whatever percentage I had." He looked pale, was hydrating way more than I've ever seen him do during a show, and was even using an inhaler. It was clear from the frowns and grimaces all evening that singing was an absolute misery for him last night. He also said on his Twitter that he was considering filing attempted murder charges on his sinuses in the morning, so clearly he was not at his best.
Nonetheless, he persevered and put on a very satisfying evening of music. I'm hoping he's feeling better by the time I see him again in Kansas City on Monday, but Thursday night I was in awe of Joe's ability to fight his way to the finish line (he DID look a lot like marathoners look after a race when everyone took their last bows).
The '66 Strat that looks like it might have had a finish once, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth
A Pelham Blue Firebird
A Pelham Blue Les Paul
The '51 Nocaster with PAF neck pickup
A white ES-355 with gold hardware, including Bigsby
A tobacco sunburst Strat (maybe the '63?)
An ebony ES-355 with gold hardware, including Bigsby
The Epiphone "Treasure" Firebird in Polymist Gold
Blues of Desperation
No Good Place for the Lonely
How Deep This River Runs
Boogie With Stu
Never Make Your Move Too Soon
Angel of Mercy
Love Ain't a Love Song
How Many More Times
To my surprise and delight, Lee Thornburg and Paulie Cerra were much more prominent in the mix last night comapred to the show I saw nearly a year ago in Omaha. Lee's trumpet figures on "Dust Bowl" were strange, but beautiful. These guys really add a lot to the band's sound when they're audible in the mix.
Michael Rhodes on bass and Anton Fig on drums are phenomenal. Like most of you I loved their predecessors, but day-um!
Reese Wynans is deservedly in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and seems to be having a blast playing with Joe. I had a blast watching the speaker on his Leslie rotating. Brought back some fond memories of my college days.
I must admit that a stray carnal thought entered my mind here and there when Jade MacRae and Juanita Tippens were featured, but it's okay because I was going to confession on Saturday anyway! These women were splendid all night, but their performance on "Hummingbird" is quite simply not to be missed. Gave me chills, and even brought me to tears by the song's end.
As for that whippersnapper Bonamassa, he can play some...
It was great to see Joe's biggest fan, our own pattyluvsjoe, after missing connections for a couple of years. No way I'll ever be able to repay the debt I owe her for helping bring Joe and his music into my life.
As promised, got to meet and shake hands with rdawsoniii. He was a perfectly pleasant fellow and I'm sure he enjoyed the show, but I had a slightly better seat!
The Des Moines Civic Center is a really good venue for Joe. Although I know he loves the ornate older theatres, a more modern venue like this has its advantages also.
I brought my wingman with me to the show. If you want to know more, you'll have to visit my blog (link in my signature) when the latest entry gets posted sometime after noon today...
I'll be saying prayers for Joe's speedy recovery, and can hardly wait to see him again next Monday!
Kansas City, MO