© Lydia Lowe 3/25/2011
Buddy Guy was the headliner last Thursday night at the Stiefel Theater in Salina, KS. Moreland & Arbuckle got the crowd going, there was a short break and then Buddy Guy took the stage.
What a unique experience! Buddy Guy doesn't do any pre-set song list planning for his show which makes a concert with the performer an experience not to be missed. Every song is off the cuff and I just didn't know what to expect. Sometimes he gets it wrong, but even that becomes part of the act.
At one point, Buddy went out into the audience and up the aisle, stopping whenever their was a fan grooving to the tune or someone taking pictures. He went up the aisle and disappeared, although I could still hear him playing. The next thing I knew, he had made it upstairs and spent a considerable amount of time in the balcony. The house lights were on so the folks down front on the floor could turn around and watch him up top. Then he was back down on the floor and down the opposite aisle. It was intense!
Buddy did an echo duet with his keyboard player where the two mimiced their sound: loud or soft, length of note, and tune, back and forth between the keyboard and guitar. I know that had to have been made up on the fly and if it wasn't, wow, trying to remember the entire song would have been massive. It was awesome!
The show went on for several hours. Their were soft, sweet songs; hard, loud tunes; blues; rock; hip hop; Buddy Guy covered the spectrum. He even had his son come out and play, which was a real treat.
Another unique thing about this show, was that Buddy Guy kept asking for the house lights to be turned on so he could see the audience. He seemed to feed off the energy of the audience and when he could see the audience, he kicked it into even higher gear.
I thought Buddy Guy and his band handled the encore with similar panache. Buddy finished his final song, received a standing ovation and stayed to take his bow. Then he exited the stage, while the band played on. They played a jazzy tune, the keyboard player introduced the other members of the band and they each played a short solo. Then he mentioned Buddy Guy's name and accolades once again, which drew a round of applause. The band played on for a few more minutes. All of this while everyone in the audience is standing at attention. Finally they ended the rift they were playing and the band took their bows, exiting the stage. And the audience was satisfied and ready to head out of the auditorium.