Bonnie's Pride and Joy

Fansite with ALL the news about Bonnie !

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt live in concert at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. © Kat Wade

Bonnie’s the boss: Raitt rocks out the Blaisdell Concert Hall

on March 26, 2017 No comments
By Sjarif Goldstein
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bonnie Raitt live in concert at the Blaisdell Concert Hall - Honolulu, HI  3-25-2017California Honey Drops opened for Bonnie Raitt at the Blaisdell Concert Hall - Honolulu, HI  3-25-2017Bonnie Raitt played a sold-out show on Saturday at the Blaisdell Concert Hall - Honolulu, HI  3-25-2017

Success is a wonderful thing, but too much success can be a curse of sorts.

When veteran musical artists who are defined by their hits go out on tour, they are often beholden to those signature songs.

Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant famously once told the Los Angeles Times that his band’s iconic “Stairway to Heaven” makes him “break out in hives.”

But “the hits” are so often all fans want to hear. When artists play “the new stuff,” the old joke goes, that’s the time to go to the bathroom.

Bonnie Raitt has been very fortunate to have some success on the singles chart but not so much that her set list can’t wander into places unexpected. She played a sold-out show at the Blaisdell Concert Hall on Saturday night and part of the joy was the unpredictability.

Sure, most of Raitt’s hits made the cut, but her 1989 comeback single — the John Hiatt cover “Thing Called Love” — didn’t, and there were no calls for it from the audience. Raitt has built enough equity and trust with her fans that she can play what she wants and they will soak it up.

So when she opened her show with the first two tracks from her latest album, “Dig in Deep” — the blues-rock rave-up “Unintended Consequence of Love” and the INXS chart-topper “Need You Tonight” — the welcome was as warm as if she had started with her two biggest hits.

When she followed with a different Hiatt-penned song, “No Business,” the audience was game. Granted, “No Business” is off the top selling album of her career, 1991’s “Luck of the Draw,” but the point stands: The vast majority of Raitt’s 105-minute set was made up of songs the casual fan would not be familiar with, but Raitt’s hits do not own her — she owns her hits.

Two of her biggest are also from “Luck of the Draw,” and Raitt mixed it up a bit on both, rather than playing the album versions note-for-note.

Raitt kicked off a faster-paced “Something to Talk About” singing a cappella, and she took the reins off her vocals for the usually understated “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Such departures are one of the things that make the live music experience so vital, and in that respect Raitt definitely delivers.

Though known more as an interpreter of songs than for vocal fireworks, Raitt showed on the oft-covered but never matched “I Can’t Make You Love Me” that she has the pipes to make a song soar.

Raitt played half of the dozen tracks from “Dig in Deep,” but she also took her audience back to her early days with several selections from her ‘70s catalog, going as far back as her eponymous debut album, plucking “Women Be Wise” from that one, and getting a nice assist from the horn section of opening act the California Honeydrops, whom she lavished praise on.

That generosity was a staple of the evening. Raitt ceded the spotlight to her crack backing band often, even going so far as to let keyboard player Mike Finnigan take the lead on a cover of B.B. King’s “Don’t Answer the Door.” Finnigan was a revelation, providing stunning blues vocals. Raitt’s fans seemed genuinely pleased to see a member of her backing band — each of whom has played with her for more than 20 years — take a turn in the spotlight.

Raitt and her band have built up chemistry over the years, and that they enjoy playing together comes across live, whether it’s her going face-to-face with guitarist George Marinelli or chatting with bassist James Hutchinson about how long he’s lived on Maui (Her: “Has it been 7 years now?” Him: “15.”) Drummer Ricky Fataar rounds out her marvelous backing quartet.

Raitt also shared plenty of banter with the audience, mostly about how much she loves Hawaii — the fragrance of her lei, early-morning swims, the relaxed attitude — but also backstory about some of her songs and joking that she was heading Down Under to play “Need You Tonight” for Australians — maybe only AC/DC can match INXS among that country’s greatest bands. “I can handle it,” she said of the song she’d been wanting to record since it came out in 1987.

That self-assuredness is no surprise. After four decades in the spotlight and acclaim as the world’s greatest slide guitarist from no less an authority than the legendary B.B. King, Raitt strides the stage with confidence. She knows she has the chops and focuses on the music. Where other performers might change outfits every other song, Raitt changes … guitars, constantly switching instruments to get the right sound for each number.

Her one nod to appearance was joking that she had to put on lipstick for her closer, “Your Sweet and Shiny Eyes,” after giving the audience permission to take pictures and shoot video, which brought out dozens of cameras for that track from 1975’s “Home Plate” album as well as her band’s bows.

Raitt also brought the California Honeydrops back out for some love from the audience. The Oakland quintet were quite a find, with a 45-minute set that won over the audience quickly.

The Honeydrops deliver a genre-crunching brand of jazz-rock, led by Lech Wierzynski’s soulful vocals. Wierzynski (who also played trumpet and guitar) and Johnny Bones on tenor saxophone get most of the attention and most of the solos, but keyboardist Lorenzo Loera, drummer Ben Malament and bassist Beau Bradbury are also key to their tight sound.

One highlight was Wierzynski’s story about the band’s beginnings nearly 10 years ago, busking in Bay Area subway stations. Malament and his drum kit were turned away at the entrance, leaving him to come back the next day with a washboard, which he produced again Saturday night for the bawdy (in a WWII-era way) “Do It Like That.” The whole lot of them are charmers, almost too big to be opening for anyone much longer. They might have made enough fans Saturday to come back through the islands on their own before long.

Source: © Copyright Honolulu Star Advertiser

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Related Posts

Take a look at these posts
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Bonnie's Pride and Joy on Facebook

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Farm Aid 2021 – September 25 in Hartford, Connecticut ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
Video image

Comment on Facebook


Location : Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in Tulare County, California, USA.
The General Sherman Tree is the world's largest tree, measured by volume. It stands 275 feet (83 m) tall, and is over 36 feet (11 m) in diameter at the base. Sequoia trunks remain wide high up. Sixty feet above the base, the Sherman Tree is 17.5 feet (5.3 m) in diameter.

It is estimated to be around 2,300 to 2,700 years old.
... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Timeline PhotosStanding watch over the Sierra forests for thousands of years, the giant sequoias are yet another awe-inspiring sight to behold in Yosemite Mariposa County! 📷 by @colbyoutdoors

📰 | (how to visit Yosemite the summer)

#YosemiteNation Visit Gold Country Visit California California High Sierra
... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

Timeline PhotosRed Lake Treaty Camp is calling for urgent help. They woke up to movement as their digging getting closer to the river.

“We need people to Red Lake Camp. The equipment they moved yesterday is now moving and working on the side near the river. We need water protectors to come stand in solidarity with us to protect the water and our treaties.”

Riverside Cemetary thief river falls is best GPS coordinates to follow on maps.

11750 MN-32, Thief River Falls, MN 56701, USA
... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

2021 Blues Foundation Hart Fund Benefit ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago
Video image

Comment on Facebook

What Makes This Singer Great? Bonnie Raitt ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago
Video image

Comment on Facebook

Load more

Recommended Reading

Falling in love with Bonnie Raitt for the first time

Falling in love with Bonnie Raitt for the first time

November 10, 1971

Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt Helm B.B. King Grammy Tribute

February 16, 2016

Jerry Garcia Band with Bonnie Raitt, Berkeley Greek 8.30.1987

September 1, 1987

CMT Crossroads Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett – The Factory – Franklin – TN

December 15, 2005

Norton Buffalo Dies

November 1, 2009

Bonnie Raitt’s Blues

November 9, 2015
Will McFarlane

Talking with Guitarist Songwriter Will McFarlane

November 2, 2009

Stephen Bruton one of Austin’s best guitar players passes away

May 9, 2009

Bonnie Raitt attends the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert at MSG – NY

October 30, 2009

Review: James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt deliver summer night delight at DTE

August 9, 2017