Joe Bonamassa - Live At The Royal Albert Hall (2022)

By Eva Garcia de la Fuente

Riddle: collector, super prolific and it's his birthday, who is it?  

On May 5, 2022 Joe Bonamassa played London's Royal Albert Hall as part of his Europe Spring Tour, with concerts scheduled almost every day from April 20. With a break in June and July, he will return to the attack in August for his US Summer Tour.

On a day like today exactly 13 years ago, Joe Bonamassa played for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall with his hero as guest, Eric Clapton. His professional evolution since then is impressive.


Joe has an immense and admirable work capacity. He can deliver highly technical and intense concerts without a break for 2.5 hours. And he never brings an opening act...what's the point if he can play himself? Bonamassa is one of the most prolific guitarists in existence, releasing new albums almost every year. And may we continue to enjoy and celebrate him for many years to come.    

Happy Birthday Joe!
"Thanks for it all!"

He is a man of few words and perhaps with little grace in his speech; as he doesn't need it. He communicates best through his guitars. The audience understands him and responds to him, each in their own way. Bonamassa is capable of expressing all possible feelings in the same piece: anger, nostalgia, joy, sadness, sorrow, love... Interesting philosophical crossroads: the virtue of playing like him or the pleasure of hearing him play. He is an academic talent worthy of admiration.    


We enjoyed listening to a wide variety of styles: funky, blues, blues rock, rock and roll, plugged in, unplugged, solo or accompanied, and even a nod to Spanish guitar. Bonamassa changes guitar almost every song.     

He plays with space and fime and starts with a recent one, Evil Mama, switches to Dust Bowl, Midnight Blues (a
Gary Moore cover) and Love Ain't a Love Song, all of them from about ten years ago; and then returns to recent albums with The Heart That Never Waits, I Didn't Think She Would Do It, and then again returns to the past with the very sentimental Pain and Sorrow and Lonely Boy among others; ending with the best of all: Sloe Gin.


All this accompanied by Steve Mackey (bass), Josh Smith (guitar) - who had several solos where you could see the respect that Bonamassa has for him almost dancing with his guitar to the music - Greg Morrow (drums), Jade MacRae and Dani de Andrea (backing vocals) and Reese Wynans at the keyboard/s who, as seen, deserves a separate chronicle and only for him: in a word - extraordinary.

Once again, Bonamassa made the Royal Albert Hall his home, and it was a pleasure to see him 'warm up' those old wooden boards that, in a couple of days, the god Clapton will step on again. And we will be there: envy?


© Guitars Exchange / Eva García de la Fuente