Saw BB King this evening at the Count Basie Theater. I had never seen him live and couldn't pass up this one on a Friday night at a local venue. I coughed up the $60 each for the "cheap" seats at the back of the theater, and my wife and I had a rare night out together.
I had read reviews of what his recent shows were like, i.e. a lot of talking, but I just couldn't pass up a chance to see the legend. The reviews were accurate, BB did do a lot of talking, and he was only on stage for maybe an hour or so. He had the crowd into him though. He probably could of sat up there and tuned his guitar and the rest of the bands instruments for an hour and the audience would of cheered.
It was like sitting in a room with a friendly, jolly old grandfather who happened to have an awesome backing band with him and of course played sweet guitar.
His backing band has 2 or 3 saxes, a couple of trumpets, drums, bass, piano, and a rhythm guitarist who played several leads as well. They were tremendous. BB said he was under the weather, and his voice did sound deeper than normal. You could tell he was struggling with it. He was calling out different keys of songs on the fly and the rest of the band didn't flinch. I don't know if that was part of the "show" or not, but I don't think it was a put on. He joked about that and a lot of other things, and had a running "feud" with his drummer. He would like to introduce him to a metronome (lol), don't rush me, etc. The crowd ate it up.
I was glad I went. I knew what to expect going in, but definitely would not go again for that price. Of course I realize an 85 year old isn't going to play all night and do 3 encores, but just wish there was a little more guitar playing from BB. I felt like a little kid who was having a great time with his grandpa, but my parents came and said it was late, I had to go home and grandpa had to put his guitar away and go to bed.
Back to his band; they did 2 "warmup" songs before BB came out and they were awesome. I would of sat there and listened to those guys keep on playing all night, even after BB went to bed.
All told a cool night out, and my wife enjoyed it. What more can I ask for.