IN A music industry cluttered with manufactured pop acts and overnight talent show stars, Joe Bonamassa's steady rise to fame is refreshing.
The American bluesrocker has slowly built up a large following with dedication and pure hard work.
A relentless touring programme, in support of the ten studio albums he has released since 2000, has garnered interest in the former child prodigy who was discovered at just 12.
It's led to live and recorded collaborations with a who's who of musical talent - including B.B King, Eric Clapton, Glenn Hughes.
So, from playing to one man and his dog in the States, after releasing his debut A New Day Yesterday, the 36-year-old now finds himself packing out arenas like the NIA.
Backed by just a pianist and bongo player, Bonamassa opened with an acoustic display that perfectly platformed his musicianship.
The amps were plugged in and the sound cranked up, as Bonamassa and his talented four-piece moved into an electric phase with a wonderful version of Dust Bowl.
A cover of Howlin' Wolf's Who's Been Talking?, driven by a riff made famous in the modern era by Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, was broken down mid-song to expose the faintest of percussion.
An organ-heavy Dislocated Boy, in which Bonamassa turned to a twinarmed guitar from his collection of prized pieces, was followed by standout track Driving Towards The Daylight.
A man of few words, his only real interaction came in the encore as he introduced Sloe Gin, the crowd favourite he dare not leave out.
VERDICT: ????? PAUL SUA
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
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