February 27, 2013
Sometimes, enough’s enough, even for legends.
That sentiment was reaffirmed last night when B.B. King played to a sellout audience at the Golden State Theatre.
The 87-year-old must have been up way past his bedtime because he appeared to be sleepwalking through his set, which barely lasted an hour. The icon sat plastered to a chair in the middle of the stage with his guitar, Lucille, resting mostly unused on his gut.
He played the glistening guitar for maybe eight minutes total the entire show. And that’s a generous estimate.
King did however have a stellar backing band featuring horns that didn't stop jamming from start to finish—they beautifully kept up with his unpredictable back-and-forth banter with the audience and sudden stops in the middle of songs.
King played roughly on only four of his blues classics including the seminal “Thrill is Gone,” which he sadly cut short for reasons unknown.
Unfortunately, the centerpiece of the entire concert was a nearly 10-minute rendition of the traditional tune “You Are My Sunshine.”
Most of the tune involved King stopping to interact with the audience and humor a drunken woman who eventually persuaded the bluesman to sing her happy birthday.
Before he was literally carried off stage, King received a standing ovation. Not because it was an amazing show, but because he’s who he is and because of what he’s done consistently for more than 60 years.
It’s time for him to hang up Lucille—but I guess he’s not ready, or the business empire he’s a part of won’t let him.
B.B. King is undoubtedly still the king of the blues and I still love him, just not enough to shell out $100 to watch him sit on stage for 45 minutes and semi-perform for only 10 of those.
Yes, you can say it. The thrill is gone.