Legendary King of Blues B.B. King Performs Live
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The last date listed for B.B. King was Thursday July 17, 2014 / 8:00pm.
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Featured review from Howard
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Respect is due! And that is enough...
At 88, most of us hope we'll be able to get out of bed and just get around. Let alone entertain an audience. Last night I saw something remarkable: an old man so in love with his audience he didn't want to leave, even though he had nothing more to say or do. B.B. King has earned the title "the Undisputed King of the Blues" as he was described at the concert, so when the seated King grabbed a mike, pulled it toward him, and sang a few bars of "The Thrill is Gone" and no more than two or three other blues songs (over what was billed as an hour-long concert), his strong voice, and guitar licks, reminded us as to why the moniker fits.
But B.B. did, it appears, not come to play a standard set, or at least it appears his band did not expect (or guide him through) that. He came almost for what seemed like a "farewell" to a lifetime of audience connection and love. I've had similar experiences with "old timers". Three decades ago I was at the AFI Theater for a film showing at which the actor Joseph Cotton was a guest, and ushered onstage after the movie. He was virtually incoherent, and had trouble walking, but you know it was enough that he was "Joseph Cotton". Similar to this was a few months ago when I saw 50's jazz legend Benny Golson, who did more talking about his remarkable life than playing.
So, to a sold out crowd (many of whom were clearly so disappointed at the lack of a real "concert" that they walked out) that simply had hundreds who came because they adored him (or simply were indebted to him for his joy and creativity over a lifetime), B.B. did what his mind told him to do. That meant an endless set of choruses of the "You Are My Sunshine" with repetitive audience sing-alongs. And after the music clearly had slowed to a stop, B.B. had no interest in leaving the stage, but rather looking out at his still-there adoring fans for what could be the last time (Can you blame him?). The lights went on, the band had no idea what to do, but for 15 minutes or more at the "end" B.B. was looking at us and smiling. Finally, it took two or three guys to pull him up out of his simple chair and get him off stage.
This was an EXPERIENCE, a very personal encounter with a musical giant, and I'm so glad I went despite the lack of a true concert (although the opening half-hour group, the Tom Principato Band, were terrific and as Tom acknowledged in true debt to B.B., as anyone who plays blues guitar must be). I suspect I may not again see someone perform live at age 88. Thank you to Goldstar for making discount tickets available. Even though I was in the very last row of the top balcony, this was a true "event" never to be forgotten.
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Really happy I got to see him before he died. Great concert. The ticket price was awesome.