Joe Bonamassa Hollywood Bowl Debut

Joe Bonamassa, the Blues Rock guitar giant of the 21st century made his Hollywood Bowl Debut August 9th. “The exclusive, one-night-only concert experience alongside an orchestra will be recorded for his next live concert film.” (Hollywood Bowl). Since 2000, Bonamassa has released 16 studio albums and 18 live albums including ones at the Royal Albert Hall (2009), Beacon Theater (2012), The Sydney Opera House (2019), and Ryman Auditorium (2021). Bonamassa has had three Grammy nominations and continues to prove you don’t need to win to be successful. Bonamassa’s career goes all the way to the age of 12 opening for B.B. King. In the L.A. area Bonamassa has gone from the Dolby Theater down the street from the Bowl in 2015 to the Greek Theater (2016) on his Three Kings tour honoring B.B., Albert, and Freddie King and now the Hollywood Bowl. Bonamassa typically plays very intimate shows several times a year between the Maui Sugar Mill and the Baked Potato.  Earlier that day it was announced that guitar legend Robbie Robertson (The Band) had passed away at the age of 80. 

Bonamassa, known for owning one of the greatest vintage guitar collections played a different guitar each song including a Fender Telecaster, Gibson Les Paul and SG. The show was broken into two sets beginning at 8 P.M. Bonamassa played a 45-minute set with his band also including guitarist Josh Smith. With no introduction the show started.  The first set began with “Evil Mama” followed by “Dust Bowl” the title track of his 2011 release. Bonamassa also covered Coco Montoya’s “I Want To Shout About It.” 

Set two with the orchestra conducted by David Campbell started with “When One Door Opens.” Bonamassa played Chris Whitley’s “Ball Peen Hammer” for the first time since 2014 and covers of Barbara Streisand’s “Prisoner” and Kenny Neal’s “If Heartaches Were Nickels.” After Bonamassa’s biggest song “Ballad of John Henry,” he returned for a two-song encore of “24 Hour Blues” and “Sloe Gin” from his 2007 album of the same name which was originally recorded by the great Tim Curry for the Rock Horror Picture Show film. 

Set 1

  1. Evil Mama
  2. Dust Bowl
  3. Love Ain't A Love Song
  4. I Want To Shout About It- Coco Montoya
  5. Heart That Never Waits

Joe Bonamassa w/ Orchestra 

  1. When One Door Opens (Overture)
  2. Curtain Call
  3. Self Inflicted Wounds
  4. No Good Place For The Lonely
  5. Ball Peen Hammer- Chris Whitley
  6. Last Matador Of Bayonne
  7. Prisoner- Barbara Streisand
  8. If Heartaches Were Nickels- Kenny Neal 
  9. Ballad Of John Henry


  1. 24 Hour Blues
  2. Sloe Gin- Tim Curry