Published on November 15th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Why Joe Bonamassa Should Be The Next “Residency Artist” For New York City’s Beacon Theatre
The Madison Square Garden family of New York City venues — which includes the Garden arena, the Hulu Theater inside the Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre — is very famous for its residencies. Not only is Billy Joel breaking records with his on-going residency at MSG, but the Beacon has also done very well with its Jerry Seinfeld residency. And that’s without referring to Phish’s regular multi-night stands at the Garden, including its “Baker’s Dozen” sell-outs in 2017.
The Beacon Theatre is often associated with its recurring March residency starting the Allman Brothers. With the recent deaths of Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks, the Allman/Beacon chapter is closed, aside from the upcoming star-studded Allman Family Revival shows that are coming up. But until the next generation of Allman family members fully catch on in New York, the Beacon Theatre is still in need of a proven musical legacy to become internationally synonymous with.
Enter Joe Bonamassa. 13 studio albums into his career — beyond plenty of live albums and collaborative efforts — Bonamassa is a GRAMMY-nominated singer, songwriter and virtuoso guitarist. It may not be on your radar, but Bonamassa has packed three consecutive nights at the Beacon Theatre this month. With a listed capacity of 2,894 attendees, that means Joe Bonamassa will be drawing well over 8,000 concertgoers to his late 2019 Beacon Theatre shows in New York.
If someone is able to fill the Beacon Theatre three times in as many days — without an opener or co-headliner — why not a five-show stand? Or a 10-show stand? What really made the Allmans’ Beacon shows so legendary wasn’t the hit songs or even the overall setlist. It was the idea that people were seeing “an event” and you never knew who else was going to make a surprise appearance.
Joe Bonamassa has all of the tools needed to create that destination of a live show. His backing band — comprised of keyboardist Reese Wynans, drummer Anton Fig, bassist Michael Rhodes, trumpeter Lee Thornburg, saxophonist Paulie Cerra, and backing vocalists Mahalia Barnes and Jade MacRae — is full of virtuosos. There is a stage show in place, as evident by the choreography of Barnes and MacRae. There is a deep catalog of live staples. The latest studio album of Bonamassa’s, 2018’s Redemption, charted high in the U.S., Germany, England and plenty of other countries. So here’s to hoping that the New York native returns to New York City in an even bigger way very soon.
Feature image taken by Dan Platt on November 14, 2019