Concert Review: BB King

The King of the Blues still has soul at 87 years old

87-year-old 'King of the Blues' BB King played to a sold out crowd at UVic's Farquhar Auditorium, Wed., March 6.

87-year-old 'King of the Blues' BB King played to a sold out crowd at UVic's Farquhar Auditorium, Wed., March 6.

BB King is awfully happy for bluesman.

During his 90-minute concert at UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium, Wed., March 6, he performed more smiles than songs, bantering away like he was in a room full of old firends — and beautiful ladies.

It’s obvious that the legendary 87-year-old “King of the Blues” is a performer through and through — performing more than 250 shows annually at an age where most are content to stay home and play bridge. He soaks up the well-deserved praise graciously.

And he’s in great shape. Although he sat for the entire performance (and refereed to cue cards he had stashed in his pocket for forgotten lyrics), the King gave his soul over to the blues, Wednesday night. And the audience gave their souls over to the music.

The show began with two songs from the eight-piece BB King Blues Band, led by James “Boogaloo” Bolden, a master trumpet player whose face puffs up like a blowfish when he plays.

Each member took turns at centre stage, playing solos in these instrumental openers. And what a talented bunch they are. These eight men (most over 60 years old) really know how to get down, and how to have a great time doing it. Their joy was contagious.

BB King came in about 15-20 minutes in, and sat front and centre for the rest of the show. His soulful voice is still as powerful as ever and his guitar playing as playful as his personality.

About half-way through, he led the audience in a rendition of “You are my Sunshine” that had the whole room singing and clapping along. He closed with “As the Saints go Marching In” in the same vein.

I couldn’t help but feel like I was witnessing something very special in that auditorium — a level of musicianship and performance that most can only dream of seeing, let along achieving themselves. And the sound was fantastic.

Thanks to UVic for hosting such a fantastic and enriching evening of music!

 

 

Photos by Rob Porter

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Gettin’ Higher Choir will be performing alongside Wavelengths Community Choir and special guests during an online concert Jan. 30. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria choirs team up for online concert fundraiser

Valdy among performers for free concert

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Artist Jim Holyoak’s installation “Quagmire.” Holyoak will be the first speaker for the Artist Talk Online Winter 2021 series. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College Artist Talk goes online for winter 2021

The series invites contemporary Canadian artists to speak about their professional practice

Juno-winning Toronto dub poet Lillian Allen is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet for 2021. (Photo courtesy Karen Lee)
Juno-winning dub poet is VIU’s Gustafson Distinguished Poet this year

Lillian Allen will present online lecture, reading and Q-and-A

James Summer, the City of Victoria’s new youth poet laureate. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Slam poetry expert introduced as Victoria’s new youth poet laureate

Vic High alum James Summer will serve in the role for 2021

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Peter Crema and Harmony Gray (from left), past participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Code Switching teen art group, at work in ArtLab in 2019. The NAG will be expanding the space thanks to a $75,000 arts infrastructure program grant. (Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre receive new arts infrastructure funding

Province announces recipients of funding through B.C. Arts Council program

Ty Wesley, Nicole Darlington and Cameron Macaulay (from left) performed in the Beholder Entertainment production <em>Gender Sucks!</em> in the 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. (Video still courtesy Sam Wharram)
Nanaimo Fringe Festival artist lottery open to local and B.C. playwrights

Organizers hope to stage plays in-person at indoor and outdoor venues this summer

Canadian singer-songwriter-actor Joëlle Rabu will join her son, Nico Rhoades, for a livestream performance courtesy the Tidemark Theatre Jan. 29. Photo submitted
Mother/son powerhouses Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes join forces for Island livestream

Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre hosts online music revue

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Most Read