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Joe Bonamassa – Cirkus, Stockholm, 2012-03-19

2012-03-20

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This was my third time seeing Joe Bonamassa in two years, including once with Black Country Communion. My impressions of this show compared to the first time I saw him was that this time around it seemed like Joe had taken one step further in the direction of rock music, moving away from the blues. I don’t have a problem with that since I like both sides of Joe, and an up-tempo rock show leaves a more lasting impression on me anyway.

I was very happy that “Slow Train” was still the opener. I thought that maybe I’d missed my chance to hear it live since Joe skipped Sweden on the Dust Bowl Tour. But it actually seemed that this was still an extension of that tour even though his new album Driving Towards The Daylight was just around the corner. “Dust Bowl” was another favorite of mine, which is weird cause I usually never like the new songs when I go see bands these days.

Joe explained to the audience that this was the band’s first concert with keyboardist Rick Melick, since he’d been returned to them by Russian customs. Melick was detained when the band was about to enter Russia because of some issue with his visa. The shows in Saint Petersburg and Moscow were done with Joe, bassist Carmine Rojas, and drummer Tal Bergman as a power trio while Melick spent a couple of days in lockup.

The best two songs of the night was probably the Black Country Communion tune “Song of Yesterday” and Bonamassa’s cover of The Who’s “Young Man Blues.” However “Song of Yesterday” was really lacking Glenn Hughes’ vocals. Don’t get me wrong, I love Joe Bonamassa’s voice, but the combination of both their vocals in that song is such a big part of its appeal to me. But the main riff is just so great and Joe’s solo was nothing short of phenomenal. “Young Man Blues” was such a perfect fit for Joe’s live show, and I hope he will keep it in the set for future tours.

Joe’s new drummer Tal Bergman is a really nice addition to the band. He did an awesome drum solo before being joined on stage by Joe on his white Gibson Don Felder EDS-1275 Double-Neck guitar. Between songs Joe mentioned to the band that he had played the same venue with Black Country Communion less than a year ago, joking that he had stayed in the spot where bassist Carmine Rojas was standing all night, implying that he was playing second fiddle to the always gracious Glenn Hughes.

The concert ended with the now standard set closer “Just Got Paid,” complete with Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” riff tagged on for good measure. A great way to end the show that got everyone on their feet. If I was to compared the two times I’ve seen Joe Bonamassa solo, I would have to say that this concert was the better of the two, mainly because the song choices appealed more to me, but also because the show was twenty minutes longer. I thought that the drum and guitar solo was a really nice addition. Now I can’t wait for the next time Joe comes around, which shouldn’t be too far off, since he seems to visit Sweden at least once a year. He’s spoiling us!

Setlist:

Start: 19:29

01. Slow Train
02. Last Kiss
03. Midnight Blues (Gary Moore cover)
04. Dust Bowl
05. You’d Better Watch Yourself (Little Walter cover)
06. Sloe Gin
07. The Ballad of John Henry
08. Lonesome Road Blues
09. Song of Yesterday (Black Country Communion song)
10. Steal Your Heart Away (Bobby Parker cover)
11. Blues Deluxe (Jeff Beck cover)
12. Young Man Blues (The Who cover)
13. Woke Up Dreaming
14. Django
15. Mountain Time

Encore: (21:25)
16. Bird On A Wire(Leonard Cohen cover)
17. Just Got Paid (ZZ Top cover)

End: 21:49

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