Please forgive me…
My review copy of Joe Bonamassa’s “Live at Royal Albert Hall” DVD arrived 10 days ago and I have been so addicted to watching it (over and over) that I have not taken the time to sit down and write about it.
There’s a ton of Joe Bonamassa video footage on YouTube (thanks to Joe’s very liberal “video-recording-with-your-digital-camera-is-allowed-at-my-concerts” policy). Unfortunately, much of it lacks in cinematography and sound quality and will only appeal to die-hard JB fans… like me.
With the release of the “Live at Royal Albert Hall” DVD, we FINALLY have a professional quality, 5.1DTS Sound recording of the Joe Bonamassa concert experience. Believe me when I say… you have never seen anything like this before.
The band members have completely changed since the last DVD (3 years ago) and for this concert there was an added horn section and a 2nd drummer, Anton Fig, who played in perfect sync with Joe’s regular drummer, Bogie Bowles.
The “dual drummer” show was like a concert within a concert.
I could honestly recommend that you buy this DVD for the drum playing alone… but as good as the drum playing is, that’s not the best part. You simply do not want to miss Joe Bonamassa playing live at the Royal Albert Hall with Eric Clapton and Paul Jones on what was clearly the best night of his entire life. This show was the realization of his childhood dream.
The DVD starts with an interview with Joe, his parents and his sister. They share how Joe got started playing the guitar at age four, and why playing the RAH was so important to him. There is a great deal of “backstage footage” to enjoy of Joe and the band getting ready… and then… the concert begins!
The set-list is mostly from “The Ballad of John Henry” CD with a few additions that Joe plays on his current tour, and a spattering of all time classics — can you say “Mountain Time”?
My highlights from the DVD set:
- Joe begins the concert by playing the opening riff to Django offstage, then walking out to a thunderous ovation. It gave me chills.
- The 2 drummers, Bogie & Anton, “syncing up” following Joe’s opening solo of Django — the sound will make your heart pound.
- The wicked integration of a Moog Theremin into “The Ballad of John Henry”
- Eric Clapton joining JB for killer rendition of “Further Down the Road” – Dear God, I hope this is not the only time they play together.
- Joe stunning the 4,500 people in attendance with his unaccompanied acoustic guitar solo — it makes my fingers hurt just watching it!
- The guys in the luxury box playing the Pink & Yellow Axes during “So it’s Like That”
- Joe tossing his $500.00 sunglasses into the crowd — Oh, how I wish I had been there to catch them!
- The dozens of shots of 50+ aged guitar lovers in awe of what they were watching.
- Counting all of the guitars Joe used throughout the evening (there were nine!)
- The candid interview on the tour bus where Joe talks about the origin of his songs, his inspiration and his influences.
- The DVD insert. Even though Clapton only played on one song, he was given dressing room #1 at RAH. I guess that’s what happens after 150+ shows at a venue…
This is must-have DVD for any Joe Bonamassa fan and frankly, any person who plays the guitar and appreciates instrumental mastery at work. Joe Bonamassa is to the guitar what Liberace was to the Piano. He’s a 6-string maestro.
1.The Road to Royal Albert Hall
3. The Ballad Of John Henry
4. So It’s Like That
5. Last Kiss
6. So Many Roads
8. Introducing Eric Clapton
9. Further On Up The Road
10. High Water Everywhere
11. Sloe Gin
1. “I first met B.B. King …”
2. Lonesome Road Blues
3. Happier Times
4. Introducing Paul Jones
5. Your Funeral, My Trial
6. Blues Deluxe
7. Story Of A Quarryman
8. The Great Flood
9. Just Got Paid
10. Mountain Time
11. Asking Around For You
- Woke up Dreaming
- The Bus Interview