Joe Bonamassa holds crowd in his thrall
Wolverhampton Civic Hall 23rd April 2009

Just over five years ago, Joe Bonamassa played to fourteen people at the Flower Pot Pub in Wolverhampton but today was a different story when he enthralled a two thousand two hundred strong crowd at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall.

Image copyright:  Adrian Brown -

The band opened with a rousing rendition of Django from the critically acclaimed You and Me album before launching a relentless salvo of his own brand of blues rock songs including The Ballad of John Henry, Last Kiss, So Many Roads and Joe’s own version of Sam Brown’s Stop.


A mid set, crowd pleasing, fifteen minute acoustic guitar solo lead us into an acoustic rendition of High Water Everywhere backed only by Drummer, Bogie Bowles, keeping a Native American Indian style groove. Bowles displayed a powerhouse performance throughout the entire set and, due to a superb sound mix, we were able to enjoy every note with crystal clarity.

Rejoined on stage by Carmin Rojas on bass and Rick Melick on keys, Bonamassa continued to stun the audience with an awesome display of digital dexterity, with surgeon like precision and the heart and soul of a true blues God.

The latter part of the set progressed with Sloe Gin, Lonesome Road Blues and Happier Times amongst others and built to a breath-taking climax with The Great Flood and Just Got Paid, seeing the crowd on their feet in a standing ovation.

A stamping, whistling audience brought the band back for an encore of Mountain Time and a beautiful and soulful version of Asking Around for You rounded the evening off apart from one verse of God Save the Queen, the only time during the entire set that the crowd had thought it appropriate to sing along.

This was surely the best live guitar performance I’ve ever seen, and certainly my best gig of the year so far.

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