Event Review: Bo Diddley In Concert At The San Mateo County Fair
San Mateo, California, August 18, 2005
Artist: Bo Diddley in Concert
Venue: San Mateo County Fair, San Mateo, California
Download: “I’m a Man”
It's not every day you get to see a legend like Bo Diddley live and in person. Most of the original rock and rollers have long passed on or they simply don't perform that often. When Bo took to the stage that cool and breezy night at The Expo Center in San Mateo, he right away told the crowd how grateful he is to still be playing fifty years after his first record was cut and invented this thing we all know and love called rock and roll. He admits he has health problems, such as diabetes, but assured us that it is under control and he feels great.
Bo thanked the audience for their support, saying he wouldn't be doing what he's been doing for so many years if it wasn't for them.
Perched on a chair, with guitar in hand, Bo quickly launched into "Bo Diddley" and encouraged the audience to join in on the chorus and clap their hands to that recognizable shuffle beat, cast of tribal rhythms that reach down to the gut, vibrated with power and range. The sound couldn't have been better and the energy was intense. Bo's band, consisting of a guitarist, keyboardist, bassist and drummer, was utterly fantastic and fully sympathetic to his signature style. These were no poseurs just going through the motions.
Sexy and incisive, "I'm a Man" soon followed, while "Crackin' Up" and a super peppy version of "Road Runner" were other classics which we were treated to. "Mona" and "Who Do You Love" were strangely absent from the set, but that's a minor complaint. The whole show was wonderful, even when Bo went into a rap mode. His rap songs, which are composed of silly lyrics and a tongue-in-cheek mentality altogether, are actually very fetching.
The pounding shuffle beat that's so familiar remained the same as Bo belted out the words in a gruff voice that resonated with might and muscle. A humorous bent has always tinted his music, and his newer material is no exception. References to Burger King and buying fur coats at Wal Mart and shoes at Payless garnered lots of laughs. It was obvious Bo enjoyed himself and had as much fun as we did. A phenomenal show it was, performed by an artist whose influence will excite and inspire generations to come.
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