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Joe Bonamassa Tests the Waters of the Live Scene with a Livestream from Austin

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Joe Bonamassa is known for "always being on the road." However, Covid has kept the bluesman at home for much of 2020 and 2021 (so far). In September of 2020, Bonamassa performed at the revered Ryman Auditorium via a worldwide live stream. However, his crowd on that night consisted of a very different type of audience. The seats of the vaunted venue were completely filled with cardboard cutouts so that the energetic connection between artist and attendee was absent. So, for the spring of 2021, Joe delivered a concert into the homes of fans through an exclusive pay-per-view performance from the live music capital of the world - Austin, Texas that returned the human element to the experience. This was one of four gig locales on a mini-tour that helped woodshed the group for the filming. The major difference between this presentation was that Joe and his band played to a limited but real live audience in addition to those watching on the web.

Joe Bonamassa Tests the Waters of the Live Scene with a Livestream from Austin
Joe Bonamassa - the artist once always on the road dipped his feet back into touring in 2021.

The power quartet consisted of Late Night with David Letterman's Anton Fig on drums, legendary bass player Steve Mackey, backing vocalist Jade MacRae and Joe with his arsenal of axes. Austin was one of the first places that Joe originally performed as a three-piece, years ago at the fabled Antone's, and is the city that saw the rise of guitar god Stevie Ray Vaughan. Austin City Limits Live, known as "music's best address," is a national landmark and was awarded "Best New Major Concert Venue" by Pollstar when it opened so it was the ideal location for the broadcast that aired on April 01, 2021.

There was a number of packages available starting at $30.00 for the Pay-Per-View show all of which remains valid for 30 days. The concert was filmed in advance of a DVD and those who purchased a Commemorative VIP ticket will be listed in its credits. Plus, $1.00 of the proceeds went to the Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation which funds programs and scholarships for students and teachers.

Images of Austin, Texas were shown before Joe greeted his fans. Bonamassa was sporting a snazzy embroidered suit along with his customary shades. A bold version of "Oh Beautiful" set the tone for the evening. Most songs were energized and packed with jams spiked with stellar guitar solos. Joe mixed in some softer moments during "Midnight Blues" (Gary Moore cover) but "Lookout Man" was blazing and punctuated by the use of a Theremin.

Joe with his talented team presented a concise career spanning set over the two plus hour concert. Everyone was in good form, shining on such classics such as an expansive and expressive "Pain and Sorrow" the potent "Miss You, Hate You" penned by a much younger Joe and a smoking "Scuttle Buttin" in tribute to SRV. "Blues De Luxe" (Jeff Beck) was another fine cover and "The Ballad of John Henry" was a fiery fan favorite as was the encore "Woke Up Dreaming" followed by the ultimate blues song "Cross Roads" (Robert Johnson).

This specially curated set was aimed to please longtime supporters and captivate new fans. As the pandemic continues to curtail most concerts, Joe brought live music back to the masses in a safe and socially-distanced setting that was seen around the world. Bonamassa is testing the waters in hope of returning to the road and even the seas in the future.

Joe Bonamassa Tests the Waters of the Live Scene with a Livestream from Austin

Related Links: For more information on JOE BONAMASSA and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Joe Bonamassa | Keeping The Blues Alive | Joe Bonamassa: Royal Tea | Joe Bonamassa's Blues Bus Keeps On Rolling in Nashville


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