Omaha Sings the Blues at the Ralston Arena

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band and Buddy Guy Performed at the Ralston Arena | August 28, 2019

An American blues guitarist and singer Buddy Guy performs at the Ralston Arena in Omaha, Nebraska on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. Photo by Joe DeSanti.

BY JOE DeSANTI | Go Venue Magazine

On Wednesday August 28th, Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band and Buddy Guy played for an enthusiastic crowd at the Ralston Arena, in Omaha, Nebraska.  Surprisingly, the show wasn’t sold out, but the fans in attendance showed the two acts their appreciation all night long. The show kicked off with Louisiana native, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, accompanied by his bandmates.  Shepherd has won two Billboard Music Awards, has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, and has sold millions of albums worldwide. He’s widely regarded as one of the most recognizable guitar players in the world, and there’s no secret why.  Completely self-taught, Shepherd started playing guitar at the age of seven, and has literally perfected his craft. Concertgoers screamed and cheered throughout his performance, and I was literally blown away by his talent. Most notably known for playing the Blues, he also showed why he’s no stranger to Rock & Roll. His eleven-song set included songs from his latest album, “The Traveler”, two songs from his 2017 album, “Lay It On Down”, and an amazing encore performance of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child.” Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band put on an amazing show, and was a great way to kick off the night.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band – Setlist:
Woman Like You | Mr. Soul (Buffalo Springfield Cover) | Long Time Running | I Want You | Diamonds & Gold | Heat of the Sun | Down For Love | Shame, Shame, Shame | Turn to Stone (Joe Walsh Cover) | Blue on Black | Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Jimi Hendrix Cover)

Next to the stage was the headliner for the evening, eight-time Grammy Award Winner, Buddy Guy. Also from Louisiana, Guy is a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, and was described by Eric Clapton as the “greatest guitar player alive.”  At 83 years old, he still knows how to engage a crowd and get them on their feet.  According to his drummer, Marty Sammon, who’s been playing with Buddy for over 17 years, Guy never has an official setlist for each concert.  Sammon said that the band’s been together for so long, all Buddy has to do it play a single note, and they know what song is next. This particular show included a few cover songs and original hits spanning his career. “Chicken Heads”, and “Cheaper to Keep Her”, were among my favorites. At some points throughout the concert, I had to remind myself that Guy is 83 years old. I couldn’t believe how talented he was and he seemed to put on a better show than other artists I’ve seen half his age. At one point, he even left the stage and walked through the crowd, all while masterfully playing his guitar. Even though he plays the Blues, Buddy Guy had a great personality, cracked a few jokes throughout the night, and left the crowd smiling. Fans definitely got their money’s worth out of this concert.

Buddy Guy

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

All images © Joe DeSanti
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