Joe Bonamassa: The Guitar Event of the Year at Comerica Theatre

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Coverage/Photos By Diana Peterson

Phoenix was graced with the presence of Joe Bonamassa October 25, 2019 at Comerica Theatre. It has been a long time since I have seen a concert without an opening band, and only a select few seem to do it and pull it off. Joe can definitely put on a great show with a spectacular band, and played two hours of legendary blues rock.

Wearing a classic suit and shades, Joe Bonamassa and his band opens the 14 song setlist with Muddy Waters cover “Tigers In Your Tank”. The crowd is seated during the performance, tapping their toes and shaking their heads, to then let out a huge applause and standing ovation when the song is finished. Joe played a different guitar for just about every song to add to the show, and this is not surprising considering his massive collection. Bonamassa and his all-star band hit it pretty hard for two straight hours. Michael Rhodes (bass), recently inducted into the Nashville Music Hall of Fame, played so beautifully alongside Joe Bonamassa, the show was truly a work of art for the night. Dazzling in green glitter eyeshadow and sparkling black and green dresses were two vocalists from Australia, Jade MacRae and Juanita Tippins whom Joe states are the best singers in the world. The ladies did not disappoint with they’re soulful and powerhouse vocals. Juanita was suffering from a cold, and no one could notice. We all hope she feels better soon!

Drummer Lemar Carter filled in for Anton Fig and didn’t miss a beat. The sound of the keyboard by Reese Wyans with additions of a saxophone from Lee Thornburg and Paulie Cerra’s trumpet was more than astonishing throughout the night. The set was perfectly orchestrated with high and low tempos for a world class evening. Favorites such as “Sloe Gin” and “Ballad Of John Henry” brought everyone to their feet and loving the riffs and vocal notes. And Joe lets Phoenix know that this is his home away from home before playing a few more song favorites and taking the night out with “Mountain Time”. Welcome home Joe! Always a pleasure to have the Bonamassa band in town to leave everyone satisfied with blues rock. There is good music and then there is Joseph Leonard Bonamassa making legendary music.

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