The last gig of Bonamassa’s Australian tour was slightly different to the rest – apparently this was the first show he’d played wearing in jeans onstage in 10 years. He lost his black slacks somewhere en route to the venue.
This is the fourth time I’ve seen Joe Bonamassa and he never fails to entertain. The format of each show has been different. This time was a classic show band style of setup; 3 backing singers, brass and a hammond organ player, along with his usual drums and bass. This format really suited his style, being flexible enough to go into full band mode, or stripped down to just drums and bass.
Bonamassa cyled through a range of guitars, including his signature series Les Pauls, a Firebird (accompanied by Michael Rhodes on Thunderbird bass) and a lovely worn mid-sixties strat, which really stood out from the crowd with its warm sound.
He had a mixture of old and new band members. Antong Fig, drummer, has been with him from the very start. Reese Wynans on hammond organ, previously of Steve Ray Vaighn’s band and Michael Rhodes on bass.
Apart from new material there were a few covers – notably Clapton’s “Pretending” and Led Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times”. The show finished off with an astounding version of Leon Russell’s “Hummingbird”, complete with a solo to rival Jimmy Page (who covered the song on his 1988 solo album, “Outrider”).