Eddie Jobson & Marc Bonilla
April 26, 2017 - Cultuurpodium Boerderij, Zoetermeer (NL)
The idea for this Keith Emerson and John Wetton tribute mini tour started May last year, during a tribute concert to Keith Emerson (who committed suicide on March 10th, 2016) in Los Angeles. It featured more than 30 musical friends on stage, including Marc Bonilla and Eddie Jobson (who played the famous Lucky Man synthesizer solo on a modular Moog). Then Marc proposed that Eddie organize a Keith Emerson
Well, this evening around 200 fans gathered to experience this unique progrock event. The concert started with Eddie Jobson telling funny, interesting and captivating personal stories about Keith Emerson ("listening to him changed my life, when I was a classically trained 15 year old musician!") and John Wetton ("great melodic vocal lines"). Then Marc Bonilla entered the stage and we could enjoy a great rendition of the awesome ELP composition Trilogy. Eddie Jobson delivered sparkling grand piano runs and exciting Minimoog flights, when you closed your eyes this was the pivotal Keith Emerson sound. And how about Marc Bonilla his powerful rhythm guitar, wow, what a tribute and what a start!
The romantic Rendezvous 6.02 (a smiling Jobson was grateful to the Dutch crowd for making this song a small hit in Holland) was the best example of the unique intimate semi-acoustic atmosphere this evening (including the flashy Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer solo), we could enjoy wonderful
The keyboard-acoustic guitar version of Carrying No Cross turned out to be my highlight of the evening, Jobson and Bonilla rose to the occasion: what a splendid and emotional interplay, with dazzling keyboard runs and propulsive rhythm guitar. It sounded like a bombastic four piece band was playing! On this evening the solo performances emphasized the unique talents of both musicians. Jobson turned out to be the 'Jimi Hendrix on the electric violin', what a spectacular distortion and how inventively he let his instrument talk with only using his fingers. And Bonilla showed why Keith Emerson added him to his band, in my opinion he's the 'John Wetton of the rhythm guitar'!
The 'encore' was the legendary ELP hit single Lucky Man, the first Minimoog drops of the famous synthesizer solo let the floor tremble, like a small earthquake, so fat and deep, goosebumps! During this extended, mind blowing synthesizer solo the crowd showed their huge appreciation, lots of cheers, roars and handclapping, a great progrock atmosphere and a perfect goodbye.
My conclusion: Eddie Jobson and Marc Bonilla have paid tribute in a very inspired way, with a perfect blend of skills and emotions, thanks! And I am sure that Keith Emerson and John Wetton (and Allan Holdsworth, he died on April 17th, 2017 and was mentioned too by Eddie Jobson) would have been touched on this very special and memorable evening.
Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen, pictures by Egbert Rotscheid)
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