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2010-05-19 Joe Bonamassa, Cirkus, Stockholm

2010-05-21

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I went to my first Joe Bonamassa concert a couple of nights ago. I’ve been into blues rock since Kenny Wayne Shepherd released his Trouble Is… album, but this was the first blues based concert I’ve been to, as far as I can remember. Aside from my recent foray in to Gaga-land, I usually stick to rock shows, and so the step over to the blues isn’t that big a deal.

Cirkus is a pretty small venue, with maybe 2500 seats or so. The wife and I had seats in the first row on the stands directly opposite the stage, so we had a great view. After warming up the crowd with Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell (no doubt in tribute to Ronnie James Dio), and 2 Minutes to Midnight by Iron Maiden, Joe and his band took the stage, and launched straight in to The Ballad of John Henry. This autobiographical story of heartbreak is probably my favorite Joe Bonamassa song, so it was the perfect start to the show. Joe was playing a double neck guitar and for the solo he was using a Moog Theremin and delay to create some astonishing feedback.

Although he chose not to speak very much, Joe was great at interacting with the audience. He mentioed how they’d been coming to Stockholm for the past 4-5 years and how he was enjoying starting the tour here. Everything about the concert was great, but two songs that really stand out in my mind are Happier Times and Blue and Evil. I really love the haunting sound of Happier Times and the Kashmir-esque synthesizer arrangement for Blue and Evil.

Another highlight was when they played Sloe Gin. This is such a powerful song that builds from a very subtle beginning to a soaring solo at the end. Right as Joe was about to start the solo he turned around to face his amps and held up his right arm, doing the devil horn sign. I was wondering if this was perhaps an homage to the recently departed Ronnie James Dio, who came up with this classic moniker used by heavy metal fans all over the world. Joe did write on Facebook earlier in the week how he’d opened up for Dio about ten years ago, and how Dio had been very kind and given him advice about the music business. If you look through the pictures below, you can actually see Joe doing the devil horn sign, and also in the video of Sloe Gin that my wife filmed.

But the absolute coolest moment of the night was when Joe was left alone on stage with just an acoustic guitar, and played an amazing ten minute version of Woke Up Dreaming. The only drawback was the drunk in the audience who kept shouting nonsense during the quieter parts. If you watch the amazing video that my wife filmed you can actually see Joe shushing the dude!

For the encore Joe played a powerful version of Bird on a Wire, followed by what I consider one of the best concert finales I’ve ever seen – a ten minute jam of the ZZ Top classic Just Got Paid, topped off with the main riff from Dazed and Confused that got the entire audience on its feet.

Wonder if I should make the drive down to Gothenburg in October to see Mr. Bonamassa once more…

Be sure to check out the pictures and videos below. All credit goes to my wife Irma who did a great job of capturing this amazing show.

Setlist:

Start: 20.19

01. The Ballad of John Henry
02. Last Kiss
03. So Many Roads
04. So, It’s Like That
05. If Heartaches Were Nickels
06. Further on up the Road
07. Sloe Gin
08. Lonesome Road Blues
09. Happier Times
10. Blue and Evil
11. Three Times a Fool
12. Blues Deluxe
13. Young Man Blues
14. Woke Up Dreaming
15. Django/Mountain Time

Encore:
16. Bird on a Wire
17. Just Got Paid

End: 22.21

Pictures (Click on an image to enlarge it)
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Videos:

12 Responses to “2010-05-19 Joe Bonamassa, Cirkus, Stockholm”

  1. Don says:

    Thanks for the review! This is one I definitely would have liked to see… Nice pictures and video, too. Trickbag ain’t shit :-)

  2. Irma says:

    That’s right I get credit! In the form of a MacBook Pro I think. Ahem :)

    Great review! Happier Times is my favorite JB song, and I was so thrilled to hear it live. But I think Sloe Gin was the best song of the night for me. I get chills just thinking about it

  3. Daniel says:

    Thanks for the nice comments. :D It really was an awesome show!

    Don: You came here one week too early, and missed both the warm weather and Mr. Bonamassa. ;)

    Irma: I can draw you a beautiful picture of a MacBook Pro, how about that?!?

  4. Martin says:

    Thanks a lot for a great review, both enthusiastic and informative. I actually took the liberty of quoting some of it on the wall of our facebook fan group “Norway supports Joe Bonamassa” http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=106718966032020 I’ll make sure you get proper credit the next time. For your information Joe delivered another amazing performance in Oslo Tuesday night. The concert took place at the Rockefeller Music Hall with an audience of app. 1300. I have seen him and the band on five occasions before and though the previous concerts I saw were truly awesome, I can only say that by me last night was an “all time high”. It’s really quite remarkable to see (and hear) how both he and the band keep getting better all the time. Last night I think the drummer, Bogie Bowles, for one, outclassed his own previous performances. The guy was really peaking! So, now I can hardly wait to see them all in London and Rotherham in a couple of days. Some new standards will be set, again, I believe.
    In your own review you mention that he is due to play in Gothenburg in October. Do you have the exact date and may I ask where you got this information? A concert in Gothenburg is all the excuse we need to bring him back to Oslo again.

  5. Daniel says:

    Hey Martin,
    Glad you liked my review!
    Joe is playing in Gothenburg on October 22nd. Check out ticnet.se
    Hope the shows in London and Rotterdam are great.

  6. Lisa says:

    Tack för en bra review! Dessutom, riktigt snygga bilder/filmer!! Vad är det för kamera/kameror ni använder? :)

  7. Daniel says:

    Tack Lisa! Våran kamera är en Panasonic DMC-TZ7. Ja, den är riktigt grym. Så himla synd att vi inte kunde filma hela konserten!

  8. Lisa says:

    Tack snälla för svaret! Ha en fortsatt trevlig sommar! :)

  9. Alex Austin says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Terrific site. I tried to find a contact e-mail, but failing that I thought I’d just leave a message here.

    I’ve used the songs of more than 20 indie rock bands from Jersey for the Podcast of my novel The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed. The novel is on Podiobooks.com (It’s free and painless. Just register and subscribe.)
    http://www.podiobooks.com/title/the-red-album-of-asbury-park-remixed/

    For info on how and why I wove music into the novel, you can check out http://www.booktunes.net Also last week, there was a cool blog post which included a brief review of my novel and a link to the podcast.

    http://drakelelane.blogspot.com/2010/10/its-jersey-thing-garden-state-as.html

    Thanks,

    Alex Austin

  10. Lainey says:

    To whom it may concern:

    I’m Lainey from Joe Bonamassa’s management. I wanted to thank you for your support here and on twitter, and also to let you know that Joe’s latest single- “Dust Bowl”- is available for a FREE download at http://jbonamassa.com/youtube/dustbowl1/

    If you like it, please help us keep the blues alive by sharing it with all your friends, and you can follow us on twitter at BonamassaTeam

    Also, check out Joe’s official YouTube channel @ http://www.youtube.com/joebonamassatv

    Thanks again, and enjoy!!

    Lainey – Bonamassa Team

  11. Daniel says:

    Thanks Lainey! Joe Bonamassa rocks! :)

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