Tuesday, June 21, 2011
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION
Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach, NH
June 17, 2011
With the love of two songs (“Save Me” and “The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall”) I made a spur of the moment decision and found myself at the Casino Ballroom awaiting entrance to see a band that I only just heard about. As a fan of Jason Bonham I wondered about these other musicians - Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes and Derek Sherinian - that Jason had hooked up with. After some internet research (and many, many You Tube videos later), I gleaned information about these other three men and found I couldn’t wait to see what the Black Country Communion had up their sleeves. This newly formed group held much promise of only good things to come, and I wanted to be there to see the power and magic unfold. They didn’t disappoint - it was all that and so much more.
I arrived early as I had general admission seating, and found myself on the stairwell above the ticket office. It was in that moment that I had a glimpse of what the evening held in store. The group was doing a quick sound check and what I heard blew me away. I was itching for the doors to open so I could find a great spot in which to watch them. Upon entering I made my way through the table and chair labyrinth to the side of the stage. Colin, the friendliest guitar tech I’ve ever met, was tuning numerous guitars and chatted with me for a while. The show didn’t start till 8:00pm and it was only 6:30pm.
Colin let me take numerous pictures of Glenn and Joe’s guitars, and he gave me one of Glenn’s guitar picks and let me snap a picture of the night’s set-list. While chatting I spied Jason Bonham. I waved and beckoned him over. He smiled, waved back and promised he’d be back in a minute. His drum tech walked by and said Jason would definitely come out in a minute. I really didn’t think he would but lo and behold he was ever so gracious and true to his word. Jason autographed a paper for me, and another person that was standing nearby. With personal matters to attend, a show starting in less than an hour - for Jason to come out and speak briefly with me and sign an autograph – what a truly warm, friendly gentleman of his word he was. Thank You Jason!!
When 8:00pm rolled around the venue was packed, the magic wand waved, and Black Country Communion hit the stage with a vengeance. From the opening song, “Black Country” to the very last encore song of “Burn”, these four men gave it everything they had and then some. Joe Bonamassa played the guitar like the amazing,brooding genius he is. Derek Sherinian’s finesse on the keyboards shined brighter than the lights hitting them from above. Jason’s skill and heavy beat are reminiscent of his father but with this band, he has found and reinvented himself exceeding the Bonham name. What can one say about the maestro in blue velvet, Glenn Hughes, other than he owned the stage. From his flamboyant flair and strut he challenged the audience to cheer and we did -over and over again. This is a group that works (and plays) together, gives all but takes no quarter.
From “One Last Soul” to “Save Me” to “Cold”, to my favorite, “The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall” the BCC never stopped rockin the Ballroom. A melting pot of heavy metal, blues, funk, soul, stirred with heavy and eclectic drum beats, Black Country Communion managed to take decades of musical genres, fuse it with a fresh modern sound creating music that breathed with a life of its own.
Black Country Communion delivered musical magic; a wild ride that you didn’t want to see end, but with the last notes of “Burn” still humming and wafting through the ballroom, the final bow happened. Black Country Communion bid New Hampshire a good night, applauding and thanking us, the audience, for coming.
Rock On and Thank You.
Side Note: I heard from a friend that after the show each band member came out individually and signed autographs, took pictures, etc with fans. BCC truly loves their fans and we them. Again, their awesomeness shines!!!
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