His recent 2-night stint at Oakland’s Paramount Theater Of The Arts was a classic blues-rock show and Bonamassa used the art-deco backdrop of the Paramount to showcase many guitars from his collection. When I say, “He’s a classy guy”, I mean that in many ways, from his tailored blue suit, slicked-back hair and constant use of sunglasses to his appreciation of his backing band that enfolded him with such a force of sound, and that sound cradled the listener as well as shook them to the core.
Bonamassa opened the night with a few songs from his latest release Redemption. As the first hints of the rocking “Evil Mama” started, the crowd went wild. The high energy progressed with“ King Bee Shakedown” then on to the gentle and heart-breaking beauty of “Self-inflicted Wounds” his voice full, soulful, and deep. By the time he was finished with the searing blues groove of “Sloe Gin”, only halfway through the show, Bonamassa received his first of 4 standing ovations from the audience. The 2 hours performance showcased more of his original music and lyrics including “Just ‘Cos You Can Don’t Mean You Should”, “This Train”, and “How Deep This River Runs”, with the only cover being a sexy and seductive version of “I Can’t Quit You Babe” that put the Led Zeppelin version to shame.