It’s been 2 years or thereabouts since Joe played his legendary gig at The Royal Albert Hall in London, and playing The Beacon Theatre was another of Joe’s ambitions that he’s now fulfilled. Over 5000 people turned up to hear him play, and it’s been captured forever in immortality on this DVD (and BluRay).
Joe’s rise to stardom is down to a tireless work ethic, unbelievable talent, and his ability to make beautiful music. Yes I’ve been a huge fan of Joe for some years, and will continue to be for a long time to come. The first time I saw him live in 2009 he was playing to a crowd of around 300 people and now he’s selling out venues in their thousands. A remarkable achievement in such a short space of time.
This DVD is another milestone in Joe’s career. He’s got the whole world eating from the palm of his hand and watching this DVD it’s easy to be reminded just why that is. Bonamassa band members Carmine Rojas and Rick Melick are as tight as I’ve ever seen them. It’s also the first time I’ve seen Joe in concert with new drummer Tal Bergman after Bogie Bowles‘ departure in 2011 and he has taken up the percussion task admirably. I’m not going to compare the 2 drummers, as that’s completely unfair, but for the band as a whole it’s business as usual.
Accompanying Joe on this DVD, are guest appearances from Beth Hart, who together with Joe, released one of the surprise albums of 2011 in the shape of Don’t Explain. We also have John Hiatt, and “The Guv’nor” Paul Rodgers. The fact that Joe manages to get to share the stage with such legendary musicians is even more of a testament to his talent. Production duties were handled by long time friend and producer Kevin “King Midas” Shirley (that’s my own nickname for him as everything he touches turns to gold, seriously) and the sound quality is exemplary as always.
Joe has always been a master of the cover version, and on this DVD he plays a cover of Gary Moore’s Midnight Blues. Joe has been a long time fan of Gary, and Gary’s death hit him very hard. It’s the first time I have heard Joe play one of Gary’s songs, and you can see on his face, as well as hear in the music that it’s not just another cover version, it’s a heartfelt tribute from one guitarist to another. It’s a very poignant moment, and will bring a tear to the eye of anyone that picks up on it at the emotional level that I experienced personally.
Joe’s live shows have taken a more rock orientated direction, even the bluesier songs have a harder edge. This adds to Joe’s appeal as you don’t get the same versions of stuff that you may have heard on the album, they’re beefed up, filled out, and given an altogether new dimension. Joe’s vocals also improve every time I hear him do a live show. They’re stronger and have a more rounded sound, and are even more soulful.
This is more than just a live concert DVD, it’s a piece of history. It’s a showcase from someone at the very top of their game, and a master class in the art of the guitar. It’s packed with some of the most beautiful music that you’re likely to hear anywhere on the planet, and when it’s over, you can watch the bonus disc, for a couple of extra songs, and a photo gallery. This is well worth anyone going out and spending their hard earned pennies on, and in fact, it could be twice the price, and it would still be worth it.
Yes I’m a fanboy when it comes to Joe Bonamassa but if you’ve never heard his stuff, or have never seen him live, then watch Live From The Beacon Theatre and you’ll see just why I love his music so much. I am very much a worshipper of the guitar, and when guitar music is this damn good it’s hard not to get excited by it.
Every time I watch Joe live, I’m left both breathless and speechless, and this time was no exception….