Joe Bonamassa Reigns Supreme

Photo: Stephen Rose

Photo: Stephen Rose

At the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday night, Joe Bonamassa brought his Three Kings tour to a close with a fiery performance. The Three Kings tour highlighted the work of Freddie, Albert, and BB King. Bonamassa, a virtuoso in his own right, did a fantastic job showcasing the work of these iconic blues titans and was backed by a 10 piece band that included: guitarist, Kirk Fletcher, former Late Show with David Letterman drummer, Anton Fig, and Reese Wynans of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band, Double Trouble. Joe states, “All through the tour I’ve been saying the exact same thing: Behind me are 10 of the greatest musicians in the world. It’s true! The world’s greatest.”

I was in awe throughout the night as Bonamassa’s tech, Mike Hickey, brought out guitar after guitar that I, or any gearhead, would’ve loved to play, let alone own! The night began with a handful of Freddie King songs, including Going Down, followed by a grouping of Albert King songs before finishing off the set with some memorable material from BB King. The encore consisted of three songs that every guitar player ends up learning at some point: Hideaway, Born Under a Bad Sign, and The Thrill is Gone. 

Joe Bonamassa previously played shows dedicated to the music of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Unfortunately, I missed those performances, but feel very fortunate I was able to catch him on this night of royalty. Joe could feel that there was something special about this night and said, “I’m proud to say that after 13 years and almost 30 albums, I’ve achieved one of my greatest dreams in life, so thank you for being here.” I believe that many of those in attendance felt the same way, Joe.

I want to thank Sonya Singh for her contribution.

Setlist

See See Baby
Some Other Day, Some Other Time
Lonesome Whistle Blues
Sittin’ on the Boat Dock
You’ve Got to Love Her With a Feeling
Going Down
Play the Blues for You
I Get Evil
Breaking Up Somebody’s Home
Angel of Mercy
Cadillac Assembly Line
Oh, Pretty Woman
Let the Good Times Roll
Never Make Your Move Too Soon
Ole Time Religion
Nobody Loves Me but My Mother
Boogie Woogie Woman
Hummingbird

–Encore–

Hideaway
Born Under a Bad Sign
The Thrill is Gone
Joe Bonamassa

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Day 2: The AfterNAMMth

Friday was another good day at NAMM. There seemed to be fewer people than Thursday which made it a little easier to get from booth to booth. The layout at the Convention Center is so spread out that it’s not uncommon to walk 4 to 5 miles a day.

I started at the Dean booth and was very excited to see they had Dimebag Darrell’s original Dean from Hell ML guitar. The guitar, housed in a thick glass case, showed every bit of road use and it was an honor to see such a historic instrument up close. Dean also had some impressive Dave Mustaine models, including the new Trans Blue Limited V.

The next stop was the Gretsch booth. They make some very iconic guitars like the White Falcon, Duo Jet, and Penguin. I was delighted to see an update to the Brian Setzer series of guitars. Gretsch has updated the Hot Rod series of his guitar to include a flame maple body, new colors like Harbor Blue, and his signature TV Jones pickups.

I then made my way to the EVH booth to see what goods Eddie and the EVH team had on display. The Wolfgang Customs look phenomenal, as did the famous Circles guitar. I was able to speak with one of their reps and learned that Eddie signs each prototype in gold or silver Sharpie. He showed me the latest Star guitar with Eddie’s approval on the back. As an owner of an EVH 5150 III combo amp, it was nice to hear how meticulous his approval process is across the full line of EVH products. I guess when your initials are the brand’s name, you want to make sure everything’s right.

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