Joe Bonamassa owns a lot of guitars.
I don’t mean that he buys them. I mean he possesses them, like some backwoods Louisianna demon. And at the Bellco Theatre on Monday, he demonstrated mastery of tone and touch with each new guitar he wielded.
Playing to what he called “the largest gathering of humans ever assembled in the USA for a Joe Bonamassa show” (about 4,500), he and his band — Carmine Rojas (bass), Arlan Oscar Schierbaum (keys) and Tal Bergman (drums) — blazed through a 17-song set. It opened with five acoustic numbers, including “Jelly Roll” and “Athens to Athens,” and then turned raucous with “Slow Train,” “Dust Bowl” and “Dislocated Boy.”
Bonamassa’s searing leads easily cut through the acoustically pure theater, despite the nagging sense that they’d be a better suited in a venue that’s more heavy handed on the whiskey than the wine.
The critically acclaimed bluesman expressed his gratitude for the surprising support. Bonamassa noted that he played the previous night in 95-degree Phoenix, and while the weather shift in Denver was memorable, the crowd attendance and enthusiasm was far more so.
Alan Cox is the president/creative director of Cox Creative, a Highlands Ranch-based creative shop. He works too much, sleeps too little and spends every free moment coaching baseball, shooting images and hanging out with his rowdy sons and rowdier wife. Check out his photos here.