All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Live Reviews

B. B. King in Denver

By Published: May 5, 2010

At one point, he expressed his dismay at some of the current music that is disrespectful of women. He told us that he didn't find any musician completely objectionable and he didn't know of any musicians whose music he liked completely. But the insults of women he found particularly disagreeable. So he said he would perform a song for all the ladies. It turned out to be "You Are My Sunshine." Thankfully, he sang the abridged version. Then, he turned to the fellas and launched into a discussion of Viagra and Cialis. He didn't admit to any personal acquaintance with those drugs, but he certainly painted them in a favorable light. He then sang a brief song about them (the "Viagra Blues"? (Pun intended)). He followed that up with some tips for the guys on ways to seduce a lady. He followed that, in turn, with "Rock Me Baby." What had seemed at times to be aimless ramblings suddenly came together with a coherent theme.

During the extended monologs, the band quietly laid down a blues jam. Some in the crowd became restless with the length of the pontificating that was turning into a significant part of the concert. Hecklers, pining for King's woman, occasionally called out "Lucille!" As the second monolog passed the half hour mark, it suddenly became clear, he was pacing himself. Of course! This is how you play well over 100 concerts a year in your mid 80s and still maintain a strong singing voice.

The last tune of the evening was King's biggest hit "The Thrill is Gone." Based on the lengthy discussions and the relative lack of blues playing, it may be that the new-found apathy described in the song now applied to King's attitude toward the blues rather than a woman.

Set List: Two opening instrumentals; Band intro; I Need You So; Let the Good Times Roll; I'm a Bluesman; So Excited; Everyday I Have the Blues; Key to the Highway; Long monolog; You Are My Sunshine (briefly); Viagra Blues; Rock Be Baby (briefly); The Thrill is Gone.

comments powered by Disqus