I’ve had a super-busy month, but I didn’t want to miss out blogging that I saw B.B. King earlier this month (August 7th) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Tawny and I were fortunate enough to catch him on his 80th birthday tour while he was playing at the Edgefield McMenamins in Troutdale. We arrived on time but had the mis-forethought to bring some food to eat with us and were promptly turned around at the ticket line. Not wanting to throw two fruit salads, a fresh loaf, some hummus, fruit juice, and cheese in the trash, we decided to eat just outside the venue on the grass. Missing the opening act was fortuitous in this case as we could hear them from a safe distance without having to bear the actual assault of witnessing them up close. I don’t remember the name of the band, but I’m sure you could look it up on Ticketmaster. Having finished our picnic and returned the remainder to the car, we entered just in time to get a great place to sit right near the front. The concert was general admission on the lawn except for a few seats cordoned off right in front of the stage.
Even at 80 years old, B.B. King commanded a fantastic stage presence and got the crowd excited and applauding from the moment he walked on stage. He was very sweet and funny and hadn’t even started the first song before people were already smiling and having fun. The concert itself was a blast and ran from about 7:30 to about 9:30. While B.B. was understandably looking old and had to sit for the whole show, he could still both play and sing phenomenally and put on one of the best concerts I can remember. He was chair dancing like a pro and kept working with the crowd throughout the whole night, always having something to say. One of the best moments I remember was about twenty minutes in after he had just finished talking about how blessed he felt to still be playing after all these years when a rainbow formed directly behind the stage right where he was performing.
The photos below were taken using the camera on my phone and are pretty low resolution as a result. The “Hanselman school of photography” shot has been reduced to remove that lovely “close-up” feel, but the shot of B.B. on-stage is still in 1600×1200, even if totally blurred. Evidence of a great night: