November 23, 2009 by torqdog
And a hell of a weekend it was!
Where do I start?……. well I guess at the beginning. Last Thursday, a workmate that I often trade music with approached me with this DVD from a hot “new” unheard of artist. Well, I think many of you probably already know the reaction I had when this hot “new” artist was none other that our own Joe Bonamassa. Boy, did I have some stories to tell. ;-)
I remember some discussion on this blog shortly after the concert…… in particular, the fact that Joe and Eric Clapton were jamming together on “Further on up the Road”. Well, the DVD has been released as I’m sure most of you are aware of and my first impression was….. nice, historic but it just didn’t rock like “A New Day Yesterday”……. you know, the freebie that came with the CD “So It’s Like That”. BTW; that CD/DVD combo is going for $143.99 used on Amazon…..I’m glad I bought three of em! Anyway, I shelved it until Saturday night when Viv and I went to the cave for some Ping-pong. She saw the DVD sitting there and insisted that we play it while batting the ball back and forth. For some reason, the second time around caught my attention to the point where both of us just had to take our seats and absorb Joe in his “moment”.
This DVD is awesome! It shows a much more polished Joe in what he claims is the venue he had his eyes on since day one. After realizing that Eric Czar and Kenny Kramme were NOT going to magically appear and take me to that place of comfort I’ve experienced for the last seven years, I started to appreciate more and more where and why Joe has taken this turn in his musical career. Let’s digress for a minute……. Vivian and I both love this DVD. Both of us got VERY misty eye’d knowing that this was Joe’s dream and seeing Eric Clapton onstage jamming with him was like watching one of your children succeding at some long term, impossible goal. Joe has truly crossed into the next realm and this DVD is magical to say the least.
The reason I digress is because we went back and watched the previous two live DVDs for the sake of comparison. The Ft Wayne show still gives me goosebumps……. so much raw talent that, at the time was indeed a true “discovery”. Eric and Kenny were definite assets to Joe’s burgeoning career. We then played the “Rockpalast” DVD which is one that I bought around the time of our moving into this house so it was never watched and appreciated for what it is……. an outstanding concert that showed how much the trio had improved over 3 1/2 years. The Rockpalast DVD is a defining moment for me in seeing Joe’s evolutionary movement towards a higher calling. Musically, the DVD simply ROCKS and I may actually find myself liking that one better than Ft Wayne once I can tear myself away from this new one and watch it a little more.
Bottom line here is that the Royal Albert Hall DVD grows on ya…… BIG TIME!!! ALL the songs stand out in their own right. “The Great Flood” has quickly become my favorite……. just a blistering, yet VERY soulful, slow blues number that says to the world, this is how it’s done! I am at the point where I just can’t get enough and two hours and some odd minutes goes by too fast. It is nice to see that Joe has not only seen his dream come true but actually has some Les Paul models sculpted for him with his name attached. That’s cool! I also noticed that one of the guitars in his arsenal is a Musicman “John Petrucci Model Baritone”….. that too is VERY cool in that he is playing one of my other favorite guitarist’s rig! I think one of the things I love about this show is a feeling of being proud. Why? I don’t know as I really had nothing to do with his success other than supporting him and watching him grow, knowing that he was something special…… a cut above! I think we all knew in the back of our minds that those days of seeing him for free at venues like “The Garage” here in Reno were numbered and believe me, I appreciated the up close and personal aspect of a Bonamassa show as something special. I personally get a good feeling knowing that Joe has finally achieved the respect from his peers and the greatness associated with it, even if it means that we now may have to reserve our seats months in advance if we want any chance of seeing Joe again.
I guess you could say that he “Just Got Paid” in more ways than one…….. finally!