Reviewed by Michael Rampa
If you are a fan of Joe Bonamassa, you may be asking yourself the same question after every show, namely, "where is the summit? Each performance can be dubbed his best show you have seen.
That's what it always feels like. Maybe It's the perfection of decades of touring, the choice of stellar musicians anchored by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Reese Wynans or some intangible x factor.
Whatever the cause it all came together again. The massive signed 1962 Ephiphone ES-335 at the merch table framed the entrance and made the walk to the seats feel like a stroll into a secret lair.
Bonamassa took the stage during a recording of Tom Petty's "The Waiting." Then it was go time for a very accessible opening set that featured songs that newbies may have heard from his PBS specials, including perennial scorchers "Evil Mama," "Dust Bowl" and "Love Ain't a Love Song."
In fact there were no songs from his latest ethereal and psychedelic "Time Clocks," but the tried and true worked out to be a splendid ride in showcasing a formidable band featuring Wynans and new addition Lemar Carter on drums. His booming tom work gave the show a Zeppelin vibe.
Usually you do not hear much about backup singers, but Jade McRae and Danielle De Andrea more than held their own in the midst of the highest decibel levels.
Bonamassa himself has become a fine singer once saying he learned how to sing to the back of the room by playing the Vienna Opera house. At one point, he tipped his cap to nearby Latrobe Pa., which he correctly mentioned as the home of Rolling Rock beer. He also gave a shout out to Moondogs bar where he used to play five sets a night for $25 apiece. He is a long way from those days. One of his T shirts reads "Born to Play." Now If they could only add "Destiny Awaits" on the next batch of merch.