This week we’ve collected critical reviews of Joe Bonamassa in Pittsburgh; Green Day in Phoenix; Bon Jovi in Las Vegas; and Luke Bryan in New York.
Tracy Carnejo – Joe Bonamassa
William Saroyan Theatre, Fresno, Calif.
Joe Bonamassa @ Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., March 2 – “He did 14 songs, give or take, and stepped up with a knock-down, drag-out killer solo, sometimes two or three, on every single one. If there had been beer and bourbon flowing in there, they would’ve ripped the place up. (Although, granted, his crowd is on the older side now.)” – Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
John Davisson – Green Day
ACL Live at the Moody Theater at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Green Day @ Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz., March 1 – “Green Day’s concert last night was nothing if not fun. During the first song, ‘Know Your Enemy,’ Armstrong brought a young boy with a green mohawk on stage to sing with him, which was pretty much the most adorable thing ever. The band then marched through a parade of hits, and the crowd was on its feet the entire night. There were pyrotechnics, crowd participation, and throwback classics.” – David Accomazzo / Phoenix New Times
Brigette Sullivan / OuterFocusPhotos.com – Jon Bon Jovi
United Center, Chicago, Ill.
Bon Jovi @ T-Mobile Arena in Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 25 – “For fans actually excited about the new material, this is a good tour to see. Bon Jovi played about half of current album This House Is Not for Sale, whose songs range from forgettable at worst to radio-worthy at best. … Of course, most attendees wanted the hits. And in that regard, there was something lacking in the setlist. Some got played: ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ early on, ‘It’s My Life’ in the middle, ‘Bad Medicine’ and ‘Keep the Faith’ at the end of the main set and ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ in the encore.” – Jason Harris / Las Vegas Weekly
Scott Legato / RockStarProPhotography.com – Luke Bryan
Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
Luke Bryan @ Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., March 1 – “The multi-instrumentalists in his six-piece backing band sometimes played banjo, or fiddle, or pedal steel guitar, but the music, for the most part, was closer to mainstream pop-rock than traditionalist country. ‘Country Girl (Shake It For Me)’ had a thumping dance beat, and ‘Kick the Dust Up’ added a touch of funk to the mix. And the covers in the show – Bob Seger’s ‘Night Moves,’ with opening act Brett Eldredge on lead vocals, and a medley of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On,’ with both Eldredge and fellow opener Brett Young helping out – moved the evening even further away from country. As Bryan took his final bows of the evening, the band vamped on the main riff of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman.’” – Jay Lustig / NorthJersey.com