BB King @ Hollywood Bowl – 9/4/2012
On Tuesday night when the Tedeschi Trucks Band opened for the King of Blues—the Beale Street Blues Boy better known as BB King—for a night of sweet blues music, there was a certain charge in the crowd that you can’t get at just any old show. And there’s something to be said for the feeling of hearing some of the most authentic and influential blues songs straight from Memphis decades later, especially at a venue such as The Hollywood Bowl.
Now it’s pretty impressive that a man as old as BB (he’ll be 87 on the 16th of this month!) can still rock out (and make a few suggestive jokes here and there). The way he moves a crowd—evoking laughter from nearly the entire Bowl—all the way to his unforgettable and iconic guitar solos, watching the legendary blues musician do his thing was truly amazing and just goes to show how timeless music really is.
The first song, “Ain’t Got No Worries & Ain’t Got a Barrel of…” really got the crowd going. BB and his band continued with “Shake, Rattle, and Roll,” “Rock Me All Night Long,”—BB of course chiming in here and there with his hilarious commentary. He kept hinting at a surprise guest, and we were very surprised to see John Mayer come onstage for an impromptu performance with Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks from The Tedeschi Trucks band—concluding a rather magical evening of blues.
The opening act Tedeschi Trucks Band, formed by husband/wife duo Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, were brilliant. We got to hear a lot from grammy-winning guitarist Trucks’ many solos in songs like “Get What You Deserve” and “Intros Within Music.” The group even performed a Band cover of the 1969 hit “The Night They Drove Dixie Down” as tribute to Levon Helm—something the crowd really seemed to appreciate. Him and Tedeschi’s vocals and guitar blended perfectly with the group’s eclectic ensemble that was made up of many instruments ranging from flute and bass to trumpet and sax.
Overall the show was a once-in-a-lifetime experience; the blend of the blues and the ambiance of watching under the twinkling stars at the bowl cannot be recreated easily, and I’m hopeful that BB will be rockin’ up there on stage again real soon.