Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Joe Bonamassa at O2 Academy Glasgow

OMG tht ws grt...

...as they'd say in the online world of the interweb.

Last night I went with my Dad to see Joe Bonamassa rock the O2 Academy in Glasgow. Who's Joe Bonamassa? Well, despite the lack of mainstream attention, he's widely considered the most significant, and perhaps even the best, guitarist on the planet today, and that's not restricted merely to the blues music he so excels in.

Looking around the room last night, the first thing I noticed was the average age of the audience. It was older than the usual crowd at the Academy. Blues is anything but mainstream, particularly in these times, immersed as we are in a depressingly one track music industry driven by the X-Factory and a sold-out MTV. In these times, I worry that not enough new people appreciate blues music, that even more so than before, it's been pushed to one side by a myopic industry bent solely on sucking cash from a succession of homogenous hits. Despite that though, Bonamassa managed to pack out the Academy, which is testament to the bridge I hope he's beginning to build.

I'm not concerned if you don't like blues music - we all like different things - but what I will say is that if you like music, you should give Bonamassa a chance. Head over to YouTube (interesting to see an older audience last night more focussed solely on enjoying the experience and leaving only a few tragic souls to record the gig for uploading) or iTunes, have a listen and see if you get hooked on the man's unparalled speed and technique, the breathtaking solos and inspiring lyrics.

To watch him last night was to watch utter perfection, and I could have stayed there all night, and I remember a few moments when, despite the deafening noise of the appreciative crowd, there'd be a slight pause, a gasp of air right at the end of a song or a solo, kind of like did he just do that?!!

Just a magnificent night my Dad and I will remember for years to come. I'm off to snap up his new album, The Ballad of John Henry and air guitar until the air can take no more!