As my friend Roxanne coined about the Dig in Deep album in general, Bonnie just has this way of alternating between making you want to dance your butt off and cry for a while. Dig in Deep is no exception to this successful formula. It’s been over 40 years since I first saw Bonnie Raitt live on stage, and that’s what I’ve always enjoyed most about this red-headed, silver lined, woman’s works. One song after another, she continues to bring her aged fans up and down like a familiar emotional roller coaster ride.
The set list for Friday night’s concert at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis was fairly predictable with her newly released album being show cased (and yes, I still call them albums). I was overly confident that she would open up the show with the title song, “Unintended Consequence of Love,” but she surprised me with the Inxs cover, “Need You Tonight.” “Used to Rule the World” followed with Pat McLaughlin’s “I Knew” coming in third.
Having scored a seat 50 feet from the stage, I was feeling blessed, but also a little fearful of sound overload; but the Peabody is a marvelous venue, and Bonnie and her crew were on top of their game. The sixty-six-year-old, Grammy award winning, R&B queen did mention that she had a new sound system to help preserve her hearing, so it was nice to be on the receiving end of that. Her band was tight, and the sound well balanced.
Bonnie was quick to acknowledge the beautiful Peabody Opera House in her opening remarks; and having just privately toured the new, as yet unopened, National Blues Museum in St. Louis, she followed her stage tradition of acknowledging those who came before her. She was also complimentary of St. Louis for its contribution to the music world. Apparently, Bonnie will take her rightful place next to the legendary Beulah Thomas “Sippie” Wallace in the museum; and as far as I’m concerned, this is as it should be. Check it out for yourself at https://www.nationalbluesmuseum.org.
The night would not be complete without hearing Bonnie sing her version of John Prine’s“Angel from Montgomery,” and the heart wrenching “I Feel the Same” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Her three song encore to a standing crowd was heartfelt.
And every once in a while you are exposed to new music that you can’t believe you haven’t heard before. The opening act, The California Honeydrops, was nothing less than a fantastic and fitting warm up to Bonnie’s little Peabody party. The lead vocalist, guitarist and trumpet player, Lech Wierzynkski, was born in Warsaw, Poland and raised by political refugees, but apparently perfected his smooth style from listening to the recordings of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong. The rest of the band is equally as polished, and it’s obvious they are all about a good time. They can serve me up some “Pumpkin Pie” any time.
Bonnie’s Set List:
Peabody Opera House, March, 18, 2016
Need You Tonight
Used to Rule the World
Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes
Right Down the Line
Round and Round
I Feel the Same
Something to Talk About
The Comin’ Round Is Going Through
Angel from Montgomery
Don’t Answer the Door
Gypsy in Me
What You’re Doin’ to Me
I Can’t Make You Love Me
Your Sweet and Shiny Eyes