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on 29 March 2013
At around 7:30pm last Saturday evening my conscious world came to a standstill for about two hours when I had my first viewing of Joe Bonamassa An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House DVD. It is quite simply stunning. Masterpieces are traditionally found hung on the walls of Art Galleries but Bonamassa has created a visual and aural masterpiece within the perfect setting of the Vienna Opera House.

The world knows Bonamassa is one the greatest guitarists in modern music history but that reputation is built on him being plugged in and playing at full volume. This must have been a terrific gamble and challenge for him to deconstruct so many of his best known songs down to their basic parts and put them back together. Credit the man for taking such a risk at this stage in his career. The result is much more light and space for Bonamassa to fill with his vocal, much more mature and better than he is given credit for. The songs themselves are brought front and centre and more than prove themselves to be of genuine high quality. Massive credit is also due to long time producer, Kevin Shirley for drawing together the band, for the arrangements and the vision to help Joe make the project happen. And what a band, a truly eclectic mix of world class musicians drawn from different cultures and very different genres of music. There is fellow American Arlan Schierbaum on keys and a host of other instruments, Swedish folk player Mats Wester, awesome percussionist Lenny Castro and Ireland's Gerry Connor, as adept with a Fiddle and Banjo as JB is with a guitar

So to the songs, drawn from Bonamassa's back catalogue. I must admit to wondering how Joe's more muscular, rock hued numbers would translate to a totally acoustic natural arrangement and sound, the answer is overwhelmingly impressive on every level. Every song here is given a completely different lease of life and the void left by the electric guitar solos and mammoth riffs are filled with the great man's acoustic prowess or the brilliant interpretation and improvisations of his band members. Unbelievable to discover they had never met, let alone rehearsed until 72 hours before the show.

If you are a fan of JB then all of your favourites are here from Palm Trees, Helicopters and Gasoline to Stones in my Pathway, Athens to Athens, Dustbowl, Ball Peen Hammer etc. With a show and musical prowess as skilled as this it would be churlish to identify standouts, but I was entranced at the mid set segue of Ballad of John Henry, Dislocated Boy and Driving Towards the Daylight, totally totally captivating. And what can be said of the set closer and encore of the hauntingly beautiful Mountain Time, the epic that is Sloe Gin and the scaled down beauty of Seagull. All I can say and admit, is the hairs on the back of my neck were on end and there were tears of raw emotion in my eyes.

This DVD is not just a music show it is also part music history lesson as the instruments on show command attention in their own right, Bonamassa's hugely impressive array of twelve acoustic guitars, O'Connors Banjo and Fiddle through to Harmonium, Accordian and Glockenspiel, of all things, then we have Castro's massive array of cultural percussive instruments from Africa right through to South America. Just to top it all off, Wester dazzles on a Nyckelharpa, a Swedish folk instrument. When have you ever come across such an ecclectic collection of instruments led by a Blues Rock phenomenon? Never, I think is the answe

I cannot praise Bonamassa, Shirley and the band enough for this wonderful show that we can all now share. The best I can do is say a huge thanks to all involved.

Finally just buy this, dim the lights turn the sound up and prepare to truly amazed!
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on 1 April 2013
Have any of you others experienced problems with the disc stopping from chapter 16 and afterwards?

The image is messed up and sound missing.
Amazon is sending a replacement without any hassle at all and the image is beautiful until it stops so I rate it a 5 star.
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on 28 March 2013
It takes a lot of courage to strip away your backing band, and perform your songs acoustically live in an intimate setting, with 4 musicians you have never performed with before. Joe always leads from the front Live, so it must be strange not to have Carmine, Rick & Tal backing him up. Everyone who has ever seen Joe Live, will know he does his own short acoustic session, while his band takes a break, but here is, surrounded by an array of acoustic guitars, performing his usual 'Powerhouse' songs on a more softer level, very well supported by Gerry O'Connor, Mats Wester, Arlan Schierbaum & Lenny Castro on a variety of instruments. It is a 21 song set, lasting approx 1hr 45mins, and is quite frankly - AWESOME. His singing & playing is it's usual brilliant standard, but it's the way he has shown us another 'string to his bow' that has left me stunned. The standout tracks for me are: Athens To Athens (which has a bit of an Irish Jig to it). Sloe Gin ( doubt if he has ever performed it better Live), & Driving Towards The Daylight (his singing, quite superb, & get's a standing ovation). Joe is absolutely Brilliant here, & I would LOVE to see do a Jackson Browne, and tour in this form. If you are a JB fan, you will have it already, if you're not - JUST GET IT, YOU SOON WILL BE.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 March 2013
This is for me the best JB release ever. It's an acoustic concert at the Vienna Opera House, with four absolutely brilliant musicians alongside him that over the twenty two songs produce one of the vbest concert DVD's I have ever seen. For sheer quality and musivccal pleasure it ranks alongside Jeff Beck at Ronnie Scott's. Joe is on amazing form we know about his exceptional guitarwork but here his vocals have moved up another gear, and he is more and more developing into one of the very best there are. The comcert convers reaarranged to acoustic setting material off several of his albumes. The saound quality of the venue and the overall atmosphere lifts this set above normal levels. The playing here of songs such as 'Eichmond' and 'Stones In My pathway' are even betyter than the recorded versions. The addition of banjo, not your usual twang but as a blues instrumenyt is a revelation, violin on songs such as Athens To Athens' really just stop time they are so goods. The piano on songs like 'Stones' and 'JOckey Full Of Bourbon' just takes these already great songs up to another level altogether. Gerry O'Conner, Mats Webster, Arlan Schierbaum and percussion genius Lenny Castro make this such an unmissable set. You will have heard Joe in electric guitar form through blues, rock (with BCC), plus the recent awesoime Funk Party, but this is yet another side to his incredible talent. Let me just say this will be the music DVD release of the year,to beat it there will have to be something utterly exceptional. This is Joe Bonamassa proving without doubt he truly is a very rare quality musician in a live set beautifully recorded that really should not be missed. Five stars really isn';t enough for music of this quality.
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on 4 April 2013
Just when you think Joe Bonamassa - from those who criticise him - has saturated and then alienated his market with a string of albums year on year, both on his own, with Beth Hart and as part of the super group Black Country Communion (and he hasn't alienated this fan as they are all of the highest quality in my opinion), he redefines the genre of Blues/Rock by producing an acoustic album of such astounding quality no amount of words can really do it justice. How he has deconstructed and then reconstructed each of the songs and used an eclectic mix of talented musicians from the four corners of the globe to create a musical masterpiece is truly inspired.

Good as this DVD/Blu-Ray is, nothing beats seeing the man live. His speed and dexterity of finger along the frets has to be seen and heard to be believed. Luckily for me, I have just seen him at The Royal Albert Hall, which was a rare treat indeed; a 35 minute acoustic set similar to the concert in Vienna and then a full on set with touring band and all other musicians from the 4-night stretch. If you do one thing in 2013, see JB live...
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on 26 November 2013
Right. Here goes. And I'm going to keep this brief because it's probably all been said before. Musical talent is everywhere. I'm a musician myself. But musical GENIUS doesn't turn up every day. If you're into the maestro already, but you don't have this one yet, do yourself a big favour and order it at once. And if you aren't already a fan, you're the only person left on the planet who isn't! lol Stripped down like this acoustically, Joe Bonamassa's extraordinary gifts become even more glaringly obvious. Not only is he a superb singer/songwriter, but he also has a handle on the blues that very few - if ANY - ever attain. And I have nothing more to add concerning his already widely recognised and acclaimed mastery of the guitar. Just award this DVD 17 stars and BUY IT. You'll kick yourself if you don't. There! I said I'd keep it brief...
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on 15 June 2015
I now have two DVD's of Jo Bo. The other one "Muddy Wolf ". This one is so different. It is nice to get two different sides of an artist instead of the same songs done the same way but in a different venue. This DVD was with a completely different band, the likes of whom would not normally play together. The fact they only met and rehearsed 72 hrs before the tour speaks volumes as to their talents. The range of instruments was fantastic, as was the array of guitars that Jo Bo played, his playing is phenomenal as usual. In my humble opinion this is a must have DVD.
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on 13 May 2013
Joe is one of the greats, of that there can be no doubt. I first saw him perform at the tiny Robin 2 Club a few years back. Now I can't afford to go to his shows. Which is why publications such as this are my only way to watch his live performances these days. Everything started out just great. Then around track 16 everything ground to a halt. Unfortunately, both the original blu-ray disc and then its replacement proved to be faulty, preventing me from accessing about four tracks in all. Beware of some dodgy manufacturing. Amazon must have a defective batch right now.
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on 31 October 2017
After that Gary Morre left us :-( , I discovered this amazing, talented young guitarist. He is one of the best players in the world. His voice is getting better and better.
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on 3 April 2013
Being a huge Bonamassa fan, I was looking forward to this project, however I had my doubts as Joey B is known for his epic solo's and huge bends so I thought can he pull this off??... Well the answer is simple, yes he pulled it off! It went above and beyond my expectations. The set list is perfect for an acoustic evening and is voice is better than ever! Having brought traditional and native instruments into the mix, it really makes this different from any unplugged set I've ever heard. I recommend this to any guitar fan, you will be impressed!!
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