Saturday, August 25, 2012

B. B. King

Last night I got to check something else off of my bucket list.  I got to see the one and only B. B. King play live.  You have no idea how big of a thrill this was for me.  To be able to see a living legend do what he does best was truly a honor.  

I was excited to the point that I was telling everyone I knew that I was going to see this show.  The thing I couldn't believe, though, was the fact that so many people had so many negative things to say about going to a show like this.  They would say things to the effects of he's just an old guy sitting on the stage wishing he could be what he used to be.  After talking to several people I was under the impression that they would be wheeling him out on stage and basically just propping him up with his guitar and letting him talk a little.  I was surprised by the amount of people that were put off by the fact that he sits in a chair on stage.  I don't care who you are, if you are still on stage at 86 years old you deserve a chair.

Honestly, any number on scenarios was ok in my mind.  I was just thrilled to be in the same room as B. B. King.  But get this, it wasn't like that at all.  He was absolutely amazing!  From the moment he walked out on stage (yes, I said walked)  he had the entire audience in the palm of his hand.  He waved cooler than anything I do.  His stage presence and charisma at 86 years old were unmatched.  He absolutely captivated us all.  The man knew how to work an audience and I would have been totally satisfied to just sit there and listen to him tell jokes all night.  He was incredibly funny and retains a fine sense of comedic timing.  I got a kick out of him picking on a couple of young guys sitting in the front row.  He was making a game out of winking and waving at their girlfriends.  He really could make the women swoon.

I haven't even mentioned the music yet!  Someone told me a few weeks ago that he's really still got "it."  Trust me when I tell you this, he never lost it.  Lucille sounded just as sweet as she ever has as those notes traveled throughout the theater.  Sure, his fingers may not move as fast as they once did, but he still knows where to put them.  That blues voice of his still had an amazing strength that any blues singer would be glad to own.  When he first started singing I found myself with full body chills.  I've always ranked performances based on the chills i've gotten.  This show ranked right up with the best of them.

The other thing I was so impressed with was just how nice of a guy he was.  He loved interacting with audience.  After the show he basically had to be dragged offstage by his "handlers."  He was nonstop shaking hands, signing autographs, and talking to random concert goers until he finally made it offstage.  What a great experience.  I'm so glad that I was able to actually listen to B. B. King in the live setting.  He is also extremely proud to be from Mississippi!

#67: See B.B. King live.  CHECK

This is a great little clip taken back in January.  You can tell just how much he loves what he is doing.  

One of my all time favorite B.B. clips!

Until Next Time,

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