Joe Bonamassa: Live At Radio City Music Hall Review

liveatradiocitymusichall-300x266In January 2015, Joe Bonamassa took the stage at Radio City Music Hall for the first time for a sold-out, two-night run.  These concerts have been nicely captured on CD and DVD/Blu-Ray and a version will also air this fall on the Palladia HD TV network.

It seems that Joe has been on a mission to record and release a live album from all of his “fantasy” venues.  Live at Radio City Music Hall is live album number eight, and features over 75 minutes of music, including two newly recorded songs, nine unreleased live tracks, over 2.5 hours of live footage, a special 45-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, a 40-page collector’s book with exclusive photos, and a sneak peek into Bonamassa’s childhood home and musical heritage. The package definitely was obviously put together with the afficiando in mind.

These shows were the culmination and the finale of Bonamassa’s special half acoustic/half electric tour, which he showcased around the world for the past year and half. The first set has Bonamassa playing alongside the acoustic band The Huckleberries and features Irish fiddler Gerry O’Connor, Mats Wester on niyckelharpa and mandola, keyboardist Reese Wynans, and percussionist Lenny Castro. He then shifts into electric mode for the second set with his regular touring band of bassist Carmine Rojas, keyboardist Reese Wynans, drummer Tal Bergman, trumpeter Lee Thornburg, trombonist Nick Lane, and saxophonist Paulie Cerra. As one would expect, Joe covers a lot of territory here. The electric set has Joe sporting a slightly brighter guitar tone that seems to work nicely with the “uptown” horn arrangements.  On the acoustic set he gets a bit country-ish with “Trouble Town” and “Still Water.”  The acoustic material is very tuneful and provides a nice dynamic against the high energy electric set.  All in all, Live at Radio City Music Hall is more traditional both on the electric and the acoustic sets but never sacrifices the blistering lead guitar that we have come to expect from Mr. Bonamassa.

I wasn’t sure what to think when I read that J.B. was doing yet another live album.  However, this one has some nice variations on his style and as always the playing is flawless. Live at Radio City Music Hall is a must have for all true Joe Bonamassa fans.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– I Can’t be Satisfied
– Trouble Town
– Still Water
– I Gave Up Everything for You
– One Less Cross to Bear

The Big Hit

– One Less Cross to Bear

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