Friday, September 6, 2013


On October 25, 2013, blues-rock star Joe Bonamassa will release Tour De Force – Live In London on Mascot Label Group/Provogue records/Warner Music Finland, an unprecedented live concert event unfolding over four DVDs and four Blu-rays recorded and filmed earlier this year at each of the four iconic London venues which he has previously played: The Borderline, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Hammersmith Apollo, and the Royal Albert Hall.

The sold-out concerts, which saw over 12K fans in attendance, chronicle Bonamassa’s atmospheric rise from the intimate club environment of The Borderline, to the prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Every individual evening was marked by a particular theme – his early trio years, the blues, rock and roll, and an all-encompassing set at the Albert Hall – and every set list, arrangement and ensemble was designed to fit in with the evening’s prescribed theme providing the viewer with four different and unique performances. Each corresponding disc in the set features a different selection from over 60 songs played from his extensive catalogue – some having never been performed live – with a different and unique band configuration to highlight the diverse elements of Bonamassa’s style. “It was a lot of work,” recalled Bonamassa. “Little did I know that when I agreed to this setup that I was really in for the biggest challenge of my life – physically and mentally. It really ended up being a musical celebration of my work to date."

 Produced by longtime Bonamassa collaborator Kevin Shirley, Tour De Force – Live In London will be available in four separate discs, offering over nine hours of concert footage and over four hours of bonus footage. Not only will each disc be individually released, there will also be a special deluxe boxset with all four DVDs or Blu-rays, along with a hardcover photo book with images captured during that week in London, all packaged together inside a box designed as a vintage miniature guitar amp.

Tour De Force – Live In London begins in the intimate setting of the 200-capacity London Borderline with a three-piece band. The result is a jammy tribute to Bonamassa’s earlier career, with songs he hasn’t played live in years. Next is a blues-themed night at Shepherd’s Bush, featuring a horns section to create a soulful, big-blues-band feel. He then moves to the Hammersmith Apollo which opens with a short acoustic set before moving into a rock-inspired evening. Finally, at the Royal Albert Hall, Bonamassa treats the crowd to a half acoustic/half electric show of his most popular and well-known songs, featuring the acoustic band from his most recent release, An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House: Gerry O’Connor, Mats Wester, Arlan Schierbaum, and Lenny Castro; the electric set is then taken over by his touring band: Carmine Rojas, Tal Bergman, and Arlan Schierbaum.

The end result more than lived up to its billing as “The Guitar Event of The Year” and saw Bonamassa reliving, revisiting and redefining the many phases and pivotal moments throughout his career over the course of four evenings. It goes without saying that the challenge was daunting, but Bonamassa more than picked up the gauntlet after it was thrown down and delivered a once-in-a-lifetime performance that more than serves as an appropriate career-retrospective for an artist who has already achieved so much.

“London is like my second home,” says Bonamassa. “With these shows, I wanted to give the fans attending the London 2013 shows a real treat - something special to thank them for their unwavering support. Over the years I’ve received audience requests for tracks that we’ve never performed live; it felt right that we delve into the back catalogue and honor London with special and unique versions of these tracks. And now, with the DVD and Blu-ray release, we can share it with the world.”

Unlike previous Bonamassa live concert DVDs, which featured Eric Clapton, John Hiatt, Paul Rodgers, and Beth Hart, Bonamassa’s special guests for these four shows were not musicians, but instead, a small collection of the world’s most renowned guitars: Rory Gallagher’s 1961 Fender Stratocaster, Bernie Marsden’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul and the Peter Greene/Gary Moore 1959 Gibson Les Paul. For a noted student and collector of the instrument, playing these guitars proved to be both a tremendous honor and true thrill for Bonamassa. “To see that as a spectacle, for a guitar geek, I would’ve loved to have seen them behind glass cases let alone on stage.”

Watch the brand new EPK here:

Joe Bonamassa will return to Finland on 13th October when he plays the Hartwell Arena in Helsinki.

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