artist Riley "Blues Boy" King
where Forest National, Brussels
when 28 June 2005
admission free!
B. B. King
... Mr. Blues ...

I'm so glad I was able to catch this incredible talent/living legend live in concert. It sure ranks among the best concerts I have ever seen, since I have not seen many. I despise large, sweaty crowds and somehow, it always feels like something is lacking. Anyway, when I saw the billboards announcing this "goodbye concert", I knew I had to get tickets. After all, this is the man ... he practically invented the genre! And he was 79 (now he's eighty) in June 2005, which is a respectable age. I wasn't going to challenge my luck. He has to pass away sometime ...

Then I got a call from a friend of mine, Nathan, a promising musician, who was granted the enormous honour of opening up for B.B. King, with the former members of legendary Belgian band Blue Blot as "The Blunk Brothers". And he told me I was on the guestlist! I had two tickets ... for free! As I was leaping for joy, I was counting down the days to the 26th of June (some exams in between, unfortunately).

The concert itself was pure magic. His band gets on stage. They play two songs. Then his "personal announcer" steps forward, grabs the mic and says something like (can't remember the exact words, I was too excited) : "Here he is, mr. B.B. King!" and the crowd goes nuts!

Mr. King is held up by two men and takes place on a chair in front of the stage. His two helpers give him his guitar and B.B. immediately starts playing with an energy unseen for a 79-year old! It has to be seen to be believed. Later on, he asks whether we are having a good time ("Yeeeeeeaaaah!" the audience responds). He then talks about this supposedly last concert. "They (the advertisers) said this is my farewell-tour" ("Oooooh!" responds the audience) ... "but I didn't say that! Can I come back again?" (the crowd's excitement reaches a new peak)

Highlights : too many to mention. All in all, a fantastic concert. I'll never forget this! Thanks to Nathan - who was excellent too as singer of The Blunk Brothers. What a voice! Thumbs up!

Julian, 3 December 2005