“Watching these songs untangle their often intricate twists in concert is far more electrifying than hearing them without the visuals.” – American Songwriter
This recap of the well-received Time Clocks (2021) revisits nine of its ten tunes on CD, paired with a sumptuous DVD that adds a few relatively recent ones, all recorded live in August 2022 at Red Rocks Amphitheater. While the audio disc is a bonus, the draw is seeing the guitarist and his seven-piece group (including three female vocalists, with coordinated outfits and, naturally, moves) unload on stage. For this tour, Bonamassa and longtime producer Kevin Shirley boosted the performance to include artistic projector video correlating to the music, along with the usual flamboyant, but not overwhelming, lighting.
It’s quite the flashy gig, which is what Bonamassa aims for and his fans expect. His direction has shifted from deeper blues and blues rock to a wiry combination of David Gilmour and Warren Haynes, notably with the prog-leaning songs from his last studio set. Backing singers cement the Pink Floyd connection, adding some gospel threads to the overall approach. Watching these songs untangle their often intricate twists in concert is far more electrifying than hearing them without the visuals.
Gearheads will relish the parade of classic guitars (cherry-picked from Bonamassa’s legendary collection) as he changes instruments on nearly every tune.
The band is tight and rehearsed, the sound is professionally mixed, and the editing is less hyperactive than you’d expect. It’s an inspiring effort. Even if some selections aren’t especially memorable, JB and his crew pulls ‘em off without so much as a hiccup as each features a guitar workout elevating the less striking numbers.
If you experienced this tour in person, you now have a skillfully crafted souvenir. Those that didn’t will likely be impressed with the sheer quality of the presentation.
As long as they appreciate plenty of solos.