Joe Bonamassa Pulled Into Pensacola Florida On February 26th, 2020 At The Historic Saenger Theater.
Bonamassa’s career began onstage opening for B.B. King in 1989, when he was only 12 years old. Today, he is hailed worldwide as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, and is an ever-evolving singer-songwriter who has released 16 solo albums in the last 14 years, all on his own label, J&R Adventures. Bonamassa’s tour schedule consistently hovers at around 100 shows worldwide each year, and a heaping handful of markedly diverse side projects keep him thinking outside the box and flexing every musical muscle he’s got. He founded and oversees the non-profit Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation to promote the heritage of the blues to the next generation, fund music scholarships, and supplement the loss of music education in public schools. There’s a case to be made that Joe Bonamassa, like another star who shared the same initials, is the hardest working man in show business.
I was so excited for this event that I left 5 hours prior to show time. Pensacola is only one hour from my home. Parking could have been a challenge if it weren’t for my early arrival. The streets were blocked off to accommodate several tour buses and tractor trailers that were parked between two streets, all belonging to Joe. The police presence was heavy as the number of people began to climb.
Walking into the Saenger Theater is like taking a step back in time, 1825 to be exact, with it’s Spanish Baroque architecture, there was no question as to why this legend would be sharing his artistry with all of us in such a beautiful intimate venue. It was the perfect place for an evening with Joe.
At promptly 8:00pm, the house lights went off-a single spot light appeared and there he was. Joe was dressed in his signature blue/gray suit and his dark sunglasses.
He opened the evening with a solo “Woke up Dreaming“. The sold out crowd was not shy in showing their appreciation to Joe. The energy being transferred from Joe to the audience was palpable.
The next several songs included “Evil Mama“, “King Bee Shake Down“, “Just Cause You Can” and, “If Heartaches Were Nickels“. The show slowed only for a few minutes so Joe could introduce the other key players of this perfect unity that completes his band; Reese Wynans-Keyboards, Anton Fig-Drums, Michael Rhodes-Bass, Lee Thornburg-Trumpet, Paulie Cerra-Sax, along with two beautiful backup singers from Australia that sang like songbirds.
Joe can make you feel every emotion known to man during his 2 hour performance and may introduce some emotions not known. Joe’s mastery over his guitars is second to none!! His passion shows through every song that will brand itself into your very core.
Review and Photos By Katie Urr
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