Joe Bonamassa performs a jaw droppingly slick performance at the Brighton Centre

Posted On 24 Apr 2022 at 3:54 pm

Joe Bonamassa live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

JOE BONAMASSA – BRIGHTON CENTRE 23.4.22

Joe Bonamassa has been featured on the cover of virtually every guitar magazine multiple times. His name is notorious among guitarists not only for being a virtuoso, but also for his incredible collection of vintage guitars, gear and memorabilia (which he now calls the Bona-seum).

Joe Bonamassa live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

His love of blues music goes back to his childhood and to encourage him his father arranged for him to be mentored and trained by American guitar legend Danny Gatton. At the age of 12 he opened for more than 20 shows for B.B. King and with his own band called ‘Smokin’ Joe Bonamassa’ he played around New York & Pennsylvania.

As an individual solo artist he has recorded 16 studio and 16 live albums and with the ‘Black Country Communion’ he has released five albums, with ‘Candy Funk Party’ released four, and with Beth Hart another four albums. Almost every album Joe has produced instantly rockets to the number one spot on the US Billboard’s Blues Top 10 album chart.

Joe Bonamassa and band live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

He was brought to the attention of the UK audience by Paul Jones on his Blues show on Radio 2. He has become a titan of modern blues music and featured in blues music charts since 2000. This is the first time in three years that Joe has returned to the UK stage.

The stage was in darkness then they played ‘Welcome Back’ by John Sebastian. The lights came on and Joe Bonamassa was standing centre stage wearing a black suit and sunglasses with a Red Gibson SG slung around his neck. Behind him were his band, an amazing group of musicians with an incredible rock pedigree.

Reese Wynans live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

On keyboards was Reese Wynans, who was a member of Double Trouble and progressive rock band Captain Beyond. In 2015, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Double Trouble. On bass guitar was Stephen Mackey best known as the bass guitarist for the alternative rock band Pulp. On rhythm guitar was Josh Smith who’s latest and 11th album, ‘Live At The Spud’, was released in 2020. On drums was Greg Morrow who’s career includes performing and recording with Blake Shelton, Don Henley, Billy Gibbons, Bob Seger, Luke Bryan, The Dixie Chicks plus many more. That leaves two amazing female backing singers Jade MacRae and Dani De Andrea both have been singers behind many great artists.

Jade MacRae and Dani De Andrea live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

They launched into ‘Evil Mama’ (Album: ‘Redemption’ released in 2018), which set the tone for an entertaining night of blistering music. This really focused on all musicians taking their part, as you would expect Joe undertaking a blistering solo. Next up was ‘Dust Bowl’ (from the album of the same name released in 2011). For every song, a change of guitar, this time a cherry red Gibson 335. The melancholy tones and rift seemed to draw you into the emotion of the lyrics. This was followed by ‘Love Ain’t A Love Song’ (Album: ‘Different Shades Of Blue’ released in 2014).

Joe Bonamassa live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

Next served up was ‘Midnight Blues’ (Gary Moore cover), a soulful blues and again an amazing solo for Joe, this time on a Gibson Les Paul. Joe paid homage to Gary, full of emotion, he can really work an audience and make his guitar sing, anyone who says Joe does not have a feel for the blues doesn’t get it, and this was as raw as it gets.

The next couple of pieces were from his last two albums, ‘The Heart That Never Waits’ from ‘Time Clocks’ (2021) and ‘I Didn’t Think She Would Do It’ from ‘Royal Tea’ (2020). Both these tracks showed a band in full focus, especially the interplay between Joe and Josh’s guitar work and Reece’s keyboard, both stunning.

Joe Bonamassa live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

Time to slow things down with ‘Django’, first appeared on the live album ‘You & Me’ (2006) however Joe plays it at nearly every performance. The rendition of it at the start of his Royal Albert Hall concert in 2013 was phenomenal. ‘Pain And Sorrow’ was up next from the same album, its thumping bass line giving a really powerful interpretation, at one point Joe was attacking his guitar in a frenzy of notes, truly mesmerising the audience.

Joe Bonamassa and band live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

Time for a chat, Joe spoke to the Brighton audience joking about possible jobs he could have done during lockdown, maybe an Amazon driver! He then welcomed Bernie Marsden on stage, a rock legend and an original member of Whitesnake. Joe and Bernie wrote the next number together, ‘A Conversation With Alice’ (Album: ‘Royal Tea’, 2020)

It was then time for the title track from his UK breakthrough album ‘The Ballad Of John Henry’. The last song before the encore, and wow did he go for it, an incredible performance with at one point Jade MacRae raising the roof with an amazing vocal.

Joe Bonamassa live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

The encore started with Joe coming on stage with an acoustic, giving a virtuoso performance of ‘Woke Up Dreaming’ (Album: ‘Blues Deluxe’, 2003), followed by the full band on the final number, ‘Mountain Time’ (Album: ‘So It’s Like That’, 2002) .

The whole show was simply a jaw droppingly slick performance by one of the world’s best guitarists and backed by an astoundingly talented band.

Joe Bonamassa live at the Brighton Centre 23.4.22 (pic Robert Sutton) (click pic to enlarge)

Band:
Josh Smith: Rhythm Guitar
Reese Wynans: Keyboard
Greg Morrow: Drums
Steve Mackey: Bass Guitar
Jade MacRae: Backing Singer
Dani De Andrea: Backing Singer

Joe Bonamassa setlist
‘Evil Mama’ (from ‘Redemption’ – 2018)
‘Dust Bowl’ (from ‘Dust Bowl’ – 2011)
‘Love Ain’t A Love Song’ (from ‘Different Shades Of Blue’ – 2014)
‘Midnight Blues’ (Gary Moore cover)
‘The Heart That Never Waits’ (from ‘Time Clocks’ – 2021)
‘I Didn’t Think She Would Do It’ (from ‘Royal Tea’ – 2020)
‘Just ‘Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should’ (from ‘Redemption’ – 2018)
‘Django’ (from ‘You & Me’ – 2006)
‘Pain And Sorrow’ (from ‘You & Me’ – 2006)
‘A Conversation With Alice’ (from ‘Royal Tea’ – 2020)
‘Lonely Boy’ (from ‘Royal Tea’ – 2020)
‘The Ballad Of John Henry’ (from ‘The Ballad Of John Henry’ – 2009)
(encore)
Woke Up Dreaming’ (solo) (from ‘Blues Deluxe’ – 2003)
‘Mountain Time’ (from ‘So It’s Like That’ – 2002)

jbonamassa.com

Tour flyer

  1. Motorhead Reply

    Summed up perfectly I attended this great evening of blues at it’s best.
    your article gives all the relevant info, and I certainly agree with it.
    We have waited a long time for a return of a top top blues guitarist and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Really couldn’t understand the negative comments prior to the show regarding the high cost of tickets. these artists travel a long way to put on a really good and well rehearsed performance, and there are many people and crew to pay a living wage for that. Enough said!!!

    • Nick Linazasoro Reply

      Thank you very much for your valid comments.

  2. Rob Skinner Reply

    A brilliant description recapturing of one of the most mind-blowing gigs I have witnessed in my 55 years of playing guitar and attending the gigs of the ‘greats’. It was worth every penny and every minute of the ‘eternal’ wait since the ‘Covid cancellations’cancelled the first gig, just to bear live witness to such an unbelievable talent. The technical perfection of Joe’s delivery and his astonishingly vintage perfect guitar sounds culminated, for me, in a necessary redefinition of the description ‘guitar virtuosity’ – it absolutely ticked the box of a ‘lifetime experience’! Looking for Albert Hall tickets now!!

    • Nick Linazasoro Reply

      Hi Rob, Thank you very much for your comment.

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