B. B. King
... Mr. Blues ...

True to his word, His Bluesy Highness came back for one last concert. On 16 September 2006, I was lucky enough to see B.B. King again. On the very day of his 81st birthday, the energetic and unstoppable father of the blues did what he's best at : blow us away with genuine bluesclassics.

Nathan Ambach, stronger than ever since last year's debut, opened once more. As said before, his group "BLUNK!" consists of three former "Blue Blot"-members (Blue Blot was Belgium's finest hour in music). The "BLUNK!"-set was filled with many classics : Shopping For Love, Bridge To Your Heart, No No No ... Belgian blueshistory in a nutshell. Well done, Nathan!

After a short break, the time had come to introduce Riley "B.B." King. Echoing last year, his band enters first. They play two songs, after which King's assistant steps up to take the mike and introduce the living legend. Today was a bit special, of course, because a giant (and I do mean giant) cake with a big "81" on top rolls on stage. B.B. King celebrates his anniversary with and in style!

King is funny ("When you're my age, you're finished before you break something" & "Wiggle your finger or you break it, if you're my age") and noble ("This song is written by the best band in the world : "Loves Comes To Town" by U2!"). He plays the hits, the public favourites, he taunts the ladies ... but performs "You Are My Sunshine" to make it up to them.

According to some papers, the show is "too American", "too slick" & "too studied". Ok, they may be right. The set had not changed that much since last year. But so what? It was class, true class. Two hours of entertainment, with one of the biggest talents ever.

When it was time to finally (and definitely) say goodbye to his Belgian audience, King started throwing plectrums, watches, coins ... the man's pockets are filled with crap. Very funny to behold.

Thanks, B.B. King! And thanks Nathan, for two free tickets yet again. Much appreciated.

Julian, 22 October 2005