Last week on Feb. 6th, you may recall that my buddy Allan and I went to Orlando to see Buddy Guy and B.B. King in concert.
Here is the second part of the concert review. Now it is B.B. King’s turn.
B.B. King is 83 years old, but he continues his rigorous tour schedule and never misses a beat. His band never missed a beat either, in fact the band is absolutely magnificent as they have performed together for quite some time.
While the crowd was making small talk and waited in anticipation for about 30 minutes while the stagecrew changed setups from Buddy Guy to B.B. King, we could see that every piece of equipment was very strategically placed. B.B. sits while he performs, he has diabetes and is overweight. He has been sitting for his performances for years now.
The band plays several instrumentals as we salivated for 15 long minutes until King hit the stage. The buildup is so great that when he slowly walks on to the stage an explosion of respect and love shows how much appreciation we have for Mr. King… B.B. King is the blues. He has a trade mark guitar style so impressionable people from every corner in the world recogize it instantley. He fills 60,000 person arenas in other parts of the world all the time.
B.B. has a voice like an angel, it seemed like his voice was one of the instruments, his blend of impromptu guitar licks and singing is perfect. It has a quality that Willie Nelson’s voice has. I don’t know the right words to describe this quality, but it is not words, it is an unmistakable sound that any body in any part of the universe immediatly recognizes and loves.
B.B. King immediately captures his audience with his presence and takes over the crowd. He started talking to us and involving us telling a few stories on the way to a song. There was a story for nearly every song. King has one of the greatest voices ever, literally it hits all the right notes. His range and timing are impeccable and his band really is in the pocket. He has a teriffic guitar player who has B.B.’s style down, the drummer is right in the pocket, four horns, a piano and key board player and a bass player. B.B. plays the solos, like only he can.
He loves the women too, he thinks they are angels waiting for their wings. He knows exactly how to involve the crowd… B.B. is a great entertainer and he had us hooked all nite. BTY, We already knew he loved the women, he has 14 kids!
The licks he plays are very spontanious and emotional. The most exciting thing about King’s guitar solos is that they are totally spur-of-the-moment. I don’t think he knows exactley what “Lucille” is going to sound like until they’ve actually been played. They’re accompanied by a variety of visuals. King’s first wife used to call him “Ol’ Lemon Face,” I call it “geeking out,” and with good reason: during the course of tonight’s concert, his face went through countless contortions. One moment his eyes and mouth will be wide open as he plays, the next, he’ll have his eyes closed and his face cocked toward the sky, as if lost in the vibe of the moment. Different expressions accompany different sounds.
The tired crew of two from Guitar Players Center rode the 120 some miles home and didn’t say a whole lot. What is there to say after 4 hours of Buddy Guy and B.B. King?