Johnny Winter Sage Gateshead 16 April 2013

Johnny Winter Sage Gateshead 16 April 2013
johnnywtix This was the first time that I have seen Johnny Winter in concert for almost 40 years. I have only seen him once before, at the New Victoria Theatre in London, with my friend John, when Johnny was in his mid-70s heyday. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since those days, and Johnny and I are both a lot older. I arrived at around 8.40pm at Sage 2, which was set up as a standing venue for this gig, and Johnny was already on stage playing Got My Mojo Working. He was sitting on a stool centre stage, accompanied by a second guitarist, bass and drums. The next song was Ray Charles’ Blackjack, followed by Howlin’ Wolf’s Killing Floor. The majority of the set was classic blues and rock, delivered Johnny Winter style with growling vocals, and some excellent guitar from the man himself. I had wondered if seeing Johnny these days would be a disappointment, but it certainly wasn’t. He may have lost some of the energy and fire in his performance, spending the majority of the set seated, but his playing is as good as ever. He has become an older, respected bluesman, just like the old guys whose songs he covers. Next up was a good rocking version of Bony Moronie. johnnywpic The band is really tight and the sound was pretty loud, though the mix was a little murky at times. Johnny is clearly a fan of the Stones and the next song he played was Jumpin’ Jack Flash, which he always used to cover in the 70s. The two songs which followed were unfamiliar to me: Lone Wolf and Don’t Take Advantage of Me; which ended with a snippet of Gimme Shelter. Staying with the Stones Johnny took to his feet for It’s All Over Now, which closed the set. There were loud shouts for an encore and Johnny and band were soon back. At this point he strapped on his familiar Firebird guitar and slide and played Dust My Broom, followed by Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. A great set of classics played by a true master.

One response to this post.

  1. Excellent – really glad I read this. We’ve got tickets to see him in Manchester on Friday & although I’ve been looking forward to it for months, I was worried his well publicised excesses might have considerably weakened his live performance – now I’m looking forward to it even more!


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