The Experience Hendrix tour featuring an all-star cast that includes the likes of Zakk Wylde, Buddy Guy, Ana Popovic, Kenny Wayne Shepperd and Jonny Lang makes a much-anticipated pit stop in Louisville.
As the crowd find their seats and settle in, a 15-minute video featuring interview clips of Jimi interspersed with old concert footage sets the scene for what is coming next. Janie Hendrix, Jimi’s sister, greets the crowd and encourages everyone to “enjoy the night and dance in the aisles” like they are at church.
Accompanied by former Stevie Ray Vaughan/Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton, Dweezil Zappa, and Mato Nanji, former Hendrix bassist Billy Cox kicks the night off with “Freedom”. From this moment on, the familiar Hendrix classics keep coming one after another, as one exceptional musician passes on to the next to take their turn in the spotlight.
It is a night of highlights. “Foxy Lady” brings the room to its feet whilst Ana Popovic‘s vocals and impressive guitar work on “House is Burning Down” and “Can You See Me” wows the crowd. “Crosstown Traffic” featuring Beth Hart‘s powerful and commanding vocals and accompaniment from Dweezil Zappa, Scott Nelson of Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band, Hendrix’s cousin Henri Brown and Mato Nanji raises the energy level higher.
Judging by the number of Black Label Society shirts in the audience it’s not surprising that a huge ovation greets Zakk Wylde as he bursts onto the stage and blows the roof off the Louisville Palace with his brand of guitar virtuosity which comes complete with hair flying and behind the back guitar trickery. Jumping off the stage, Zakk proceeds to walk up and down the aisles during “Little Wing”, giving high fives and shredding that guitar as only he can. The audience is electrified.
After a 15 minute intermission, it is Johnny Lang‘s turn to mesmerize with his set of Hendrix classics including “All Along the Watchtower” and “Wind Cries Mary”, which showcases his consummate skill. Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s set includes the ultimate homage to Hendrix with a “Voodoo Child” medley that is the perfect showcase for his unparalleled talent. The crowd is in awe and on their feet.
Now, this roster of incomparable musicians, all heavily influenced by and a product of the legacy of Jimi Hendrix, make way for a legend who in turn was an influence on Hendrix himself. Buddy Guy, at 80 years old, is a treasure and an absolute delight. His set includes “Louisiana Blues” by Muddy Waters, another Hendrix influence. When Buddy Guy is sharing the stage with his drummer Tim Austin, Billy Cox, Henri Brown and Mato Nanji for “Hey Joe” and “Them Changes”, every serious music fan knows that something special is happening. This portion of the show is without a doubt the highlight of an incredible show.
Capping off a magical evening Buddy Guy, Billy Cox, Mato Nanji, The Slide Brothers (Calvin Cooke & Chuck Campbell) and Tim Austin roll into an amazing version of “Red House”.
Experience Hendrix is not just an all-star tribute concert. There is nothing nostalgic about these songs and these incredible performances. The music of Jimi Hendrix transcends time, influencing and inspiring a generation of great musicians with his trailblazing blend of blues and rock. No one can match Hendrix, but this group of stellar artists allows this crowd to come as close as one can get to really Experience Hendrix.
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Event Date: 19-MAR-2017