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.

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

 

 

Just Posted

Roller skating fever taking over Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Learn about a life of luxury at Victoria’s historic Point Ellice House

New political exhibit part of grand reopening at the House this weekend, July 20-21

World of electronic musical wonders await at long weekend festival

Wonderment ambient/downtempo music festival slips into bridge plaza, Banfield Park Aug. 3-4

Solid foundation key to Charles Porlier’s longevity as a TV/film makeup artist

Learn to KRE8 from experts in the world of makeup, voice acting, animation and more, Aug. 9-18

A passing of the torch for Victoria’s rock music history archives

Royal City Music Project co-founder Glenn Parfitt wants valuable cultural material preserved

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

Esquimalt Ribfest in need of volunteers for September weekend

The three-day celebration of barbecue, music and more happens Sept. 6 to 8

Fashionable ode to the sea goes Friday at Fort Common

Local sustainable fashion retailers to strut their latest as part of ocean conservation fundraiser

Brentwood Bay brings $5 concerts every Wednesday evening

Variety of music on offer: picnics, good vibes and family friendly

Schitt’s Creek and its stars among Canadians with Emmy nominations

Co-creator Eugene Levy thought they had chance for one nomination, ‘then they kept rolling in’

Most Read