People of all ages filled the seats at the South Okanagan Events Centre on May 12 to watch the King of blues, Mr. BB King, perform. His band started off the evening and when King came onto the stage, the crowd greeted him with a standing ovation.
King started off by introducing his talented band members and then settled in to play a set of ten songs, opening with Baby I Love You.
A consummate entertainer in all aspects of the word, King, at 86, is a dynamic and accomplished artist. “I try to keep my mouth shut, but I just can’t," was a phrase spoken by him several times throughout the night. He captivated the audience and had the crowd dancing, singing and tapping along to his music all night long. Despite the huge crowd, King connected with everyone. His performance allowed them all to enjoy themselves, let go of the day's tension, relax and have a great time. It was obvious that music still brings the King of blues joy after all the years.
His energy was contagious and you couldn't help but to feel what he was feeling: pure happiness. King plays music for the love of music and that is truly what makes him one of the greatest.
Ever the charmer, King wooed the ladies with You are My Sunshine, and dedicated it to all his female fans, shortly after he encouraged them to smooch their loved ones.
The band members are of the calibre one would expect when touring with BB King. They played instruments ranging from guitars, bass, flute, saxophone, a trumpet or two, drums and keyboard. The energy in the room ebbed and flowed as they switch from slow to fast and lyrical to solos.
King is quite the comedian and included this in his performance. Near the end of the concert he said, “I want to be is a security guard when I grow up” which left the audience roaring.
King usually gives away his guitar pick at the end of the evening and this night was no exception. He called up a young boy from the front row to give him the pick he used during the performance. The smile on the boys face said it all.
The last song of the evening was Rock Me Baby. King did not leave the stage right away; instead he shook hands with many of his fans. He also took the time to sign autographs and stop for pictures. Needless to say, despite the fact the concert was over, King left his audience happy, energized and wanting more.
PHOTOS BY TOM KLINER, SLEIGHRIDER MEDIA