The show begins with Bassist Billy Cox, Jimi’s Army friend and band mate in his second band, the “Band of Gypsies” and features many songs from those sessions. It features a great guitarist/vocalist physically and musically reminiscent of Jimi himself. A video screen above the stage plays various images of Jimi throughout the concert while the musicians on stage crank out the songs all Hendrix fans have come to know and love.
The all star lineup, appearing in an ever unfolding show of solo performances and group jamming features such notable guitar masters as Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes), Eric Johnson, Eric Gales, Kenny Wayne Sheppard and blues legend Buddy Guy. What really made the show enjoyable were the vocal performances of Henri Brown and Noah Hunt. Hunt in particular delivered Hendrix lyrics in a powerful and tight performance that freed many of the guitarists to revel in the performance of their individual guitar mastery and their interpretation of an artist that is difficult to emulate, to say the least.
It is no easy task to play the music of Hendrix beyond the technical accuracy of the notes, with the soulful passion that was Jimi. Witnessing the performance of his incredible music once again reminded me of what the genius of Jimi Hendrix, beyond his songwriting and playing, really was…his stage presence and the movement of his body in a manner that nobody can really replicate. Like a lion on the prowl, Jimi’s body motion during a performance often varied from a predator about to pounce or a machine gun mowing down an audience to the gentleness of a lover of all things beautiful. These are undoubtedly large shoes for anyone to fill, so the point of this show is not to expect other artists attempting to do so. It is to enjoy the individual interpretations true to the spirit of Jimi while making the songs their own in a way that Jimi himself may have very much enjoyed.