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Joe Bonamassa In Concert
Show Date: April 25, 2014
Venue: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky

Photo by Randy Patterson

Regular readers of Boomerocity are well aware that I am a dedicated, die-hard Joe Bonamassa fan.  So, as I’ve said in past concert, CD and DVD reviews, it will come as absolutely no surprise that I will rave about JB’s show at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.

The show started precisely on time (as is typical with Bonamassa) and with what has become a regular feature at Bonamassa concerts: an amazing eight song acoustic set that started with Palm Trees. After each song, Joe would switch (in sequential order) to the next of eight guitars in a semi-circle behind him.
As the band joined him, I immediately noticed that the keyboard player wasn’t Joe’s usual Rick Melick.  It was some bearded dude and I wandered if Joe reached into the disbanded Black Country Communion and pulled Derek Sherinian into commission (and whom I’ve had the privilege of interviewing). Imagine my pleasant surprise to hear his name called out when Joe introduced the acoustic band. Along with Derek was Lenny Castro, Mats Wester and Gerry O’Conner.

Back to the acoustic set.

By far my most favorite tunes from the acoustic set were Happier Times (complete with Sherinian’s brief journey into some No Quarter), Dislocated Boy (probably the best tune from the set) and Ball Peen Hammer.

There was a fifteen minute intermission after the set during which time a spotted some empty seats a tad closer to the stage and I nonchalantly availed myself to one of them.

The “electric” set began with the stompin’ Dust Bowl and was joined by regular drummer, Tal Bergman and bassist, Carmine Rojas, with Sherinian and Castro sticking around to round out the group.  The band blasted on from there with such staples and crowd favorites as Slow Train, Sloe Gin, and John Henry, among others.  The rock rolled and the blues was played as if Bonamassa was chased by the hounds of Hell.  At the end, the crowd roared for more and Joe obliged with a moving delivery of Django/Mountain Time.

If you’ve never attended a Bonamassa concert, you’re missing out on a real treat and some of the best guitar work you’ll ever hear. Joe’s a consummate profession who over delivers to his fans. In the case of the Lexington, he delivered two and a half hours of phenomenal performances of great, memorable music.