Photographs by Lee-Ann Wylie
After Steve Strongman performed an incredible opening act, the legend, B.B. King’s eight piece band hit the stage in Kitchener at 8:55. The band members performed a series of charismatic solos that had everyone’s attention. This was a befitting way to introduce the King of Blues!
Just before 9:15 the B.B. King appeared, dressed to the nines! You have to take your hat off to this man. He has been performing for over 6 decades and celebrated his 88th birthday 2 weeks earlier. Also, he still averages over 250 shows per year.
B.B. King introduced his band and joked about how bad his memory was that he couldn’t remember half their names. He introduced most of his members as,”we have another young man here…” But being 88 I guess 75 (they seemed that old?!) could be referred to as young. He was funny and delightful, and still courteous. He had us all enthralled.
Playing his trademark guitar “Lucille”, which is a Gibson 355, he rocked out tunes like “You Are My Sunshine” and “When the Saints Go Marching In”. His voice was strong and soulful (for someone looking at 90). The crowd showed their appreciation when played everyone’s favorite, “The Thrill is Gone”.
After the show he remained on stage and greeted his guests. The man loves what he does, he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘retire’, and he can still SELL OUT venues like Centre in the Square. This man continues to be a legend!
I just wanted to say thank you to our friend from Centre in the Square, Karen, and a special thank you to Bobby, for always being that smiling face in the back and being so accommodating!