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ConcertsBonnie Raitt @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK 06/11/2013

Posted on Friday, June 14 2013 @ 15:58:41 CDT by Dean Pedley
General Some may be surprised to see the name Bonnie Raitt in these pages but given we regularly cover contemporary Blues artists such as Joe Bonamassa and Chantel McGregor then we can feel more than justified in bringing this review of the veteran Americana singer songwriter's return to the UK. Sizzling bottleneck slide guitar and soaring vocals aside, at the end of the day great music is simply great music. The show also proved appealing to the cream of Birmingham's rock royalty with The Move, ELO and Black Sabbath drummer Bev Bevan spotted amongst the crowd.

After recently celebrating a Grammy win for latest album Slipstream and with a band including Hammond organist Mike Finnigan (of Electric Ladlyand fame), Raitt was welcomed by the sight of a near sold out Symphony Hall. The rest of the stellar line-up featured drummer Ricky Fataar (Aka Stig from The Rutles) and bassist James Hutchinson and guitarist George Marinelli, both long-time Raitt collaborators.

Looking at least a decade younger than her 63 years, Raitt and her band deliver a slick, energetic and captivating two hour set that kicked off with the smooth 'Used to Rule the World'. There was a graceful poise and dignity about Raitt as she engaged with the crowd, reflecting back on what has been an illustrious career and for which she just seemed so grateful and appreciative. 'Angel From Montgomery' and 'I Can't Make You Love Me' remain show stopping highlights but the whole show just oozed class, littered with rock, soul and country moments but always coming right back home to the Blues. Finnegan took over the lead vocals for what was an uplifting and rabble rousing 'I Got News For You', bringing the spirit of Ray Charles to Symphony Hall. And a truly magical night concluded with a tribute to the King himself as Raitt and Marinelli traded licks on 'A Big Hunk O'Love'.

Remember a time before mobiles and cellphones when people watched the performance on stage instead of recording snippets to upload onto YouTube? Yes there is a time and place for that but not at a Bonnie Raitt show and it was refreshing to see the request respected by the audience throughout. 2013 has already been a great year for gigs but this one was something very special indeed.

Set List:-
Used to Rule the World
Right Down the Line
Something to Talk About
Million Miles
You Can't Fail Me Now
Come to Me
Take My Love With You
Angel from Montgomery
Marriage Made in Hollywood
Love Letter
Love Sneakin' Up on You
Thing Called Love
I Got News for You
I Feel So Damn Good (I'll Be Glad When I Get The Blues)
Encore:
I Can't Make You Love Me
Unknown
Have a Heart
A Big Hunk O' Love

Reviewed by Dean Pedley


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