On October 25, 2013, blues-rock star Joe Bonamassa released Tour De Force – Live In London (J&R Adventures), an unprecedented live concert event unfolding over four DVDs recorded earlier this year at some of the most famous and iconic London venues: Royal Albert Hall, Hammersmith Apollo, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and The Borderline.
All four DVDs or Blu-rays are available for Tour De Force – Live In London chronicles Bonamassa’s atmospheric rise from the intimate club environment of The Borderline, to the prestigious Royal Albert Hall. Each individual evening was marked by a unique theme with different setlists, arrangements and ensembles providing the viewer with four unique performances.His journey 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 Empire, 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. Each night's performance features a different selection of songs – over 60 in total and some having never been performed live before – from his extensive career beginning with 2000’s A New Day Yesterday.
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 my fans around the world.”
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 as a Double DVD or
Blu-ray, but there will also be a special Collector's box set with all four
DVDs or Blu-Rays, along with an exclusive hardcover Photobook showcasing iconic
images captured during that legendary week in London, all packaged together
inside a box designed as a miniature vintage Marshall amp. A selection of songs
from each of the four discs will be tailored into a 90 minute show that will
premiere on Viacom Media Networks' high-definition music channel Palladia HD on
Friday, October 25. Public Television will begin airing it as part of its
special programming in the spring.
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.
This extraordinarily ambitious and unparalleled project embodies the way J&R Adventures thrives – a record label with divisions in publishing, management, concert promotion and memorabilia –and is now seen as one of the most cutting edge independent companies based its success from its disruptive and independent approach to the music business. Their decision to release four Double DVDs, four Blu-rays and a collector’s edition box set which capture shows filmed at four different venues, on four different evenings, with four different bands is unique in a landscape where labels rarely even release one DVD filmed at one venue. With Tour De Force – Live In London, J&R Adventures continues to show the music industry what a 360 degree business model is and how it can drive a career. By vertically integrating its business to meet the needs of the artist and the fans, it gives control to the artist and its management directly, rather than to the broken music industry. The result is the ability to release multiple projects year after year, from Bonamassa solo records, to side projects and collaborations, to non-profits, merchandising, fan clubs, and more. The company consistently devises new ways to stay nimble and compete in today’s vastly different music landscape.
Hammersmith Apollo Rock N Roll Night
With a list of heroes that counts Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, it goes without saying that as much as it is the blues that runs through his veins, Bonamassa knows how to rock. At the Hammersmith Apollo, the guitarist chose to crank up the volume and let things loose for a high-octane set of tunes meant to blow your hair back.