There is musical talent and then there is the next level up, Richie Sambora and Orianthi. Performing in Belfast’s Ulster Hall Richie Sambora packed a two hour set with a catalogue of his songs spanning over two decades. It was clear from the performance that Richie, often described as “the guitarist from Bon Jovi” is as much a master songwriter as performer.
Richie’s amazing vocal range and performance were equalled by his impeccable guitar playing. A master of tone Richie demonstrated his skill on double necked acoustics through to Fenders and Les Pauls.
Guitarists in the audience were offered up an additional treat in the form of Australian guitar, Orianthi. Orianthi who has performed with Michael Jackson, Alice Cooper and Steve Vai didn’t change guitar quite as often as Richie brought a unique blues style, equally talented soloing on an acoustic as on her PRS. I was genuinely blown away but the guitar playing and how it worked well together.
Shooting the show was a challenge. There was no stage pit where the regular photographers clamber over each other during the first three songs. This gig had to be shot from the back of the hall. On hearing this news it felt that the audience instantly grew an extra foot height. Although the 200mm really struggled with shooting the entire length of the Ulster Hall it was great to have a challenge from the norm, you can get an idea how far I was away from the stage from this shot.
I am not overly impressed by the photos and although I would have loved to have been closer, it was difficult to focus on photography when you just want to watch and listen to Richie play!
No one can question that it comes down to rock legends Richie Sambora has to be one of the biggest names around yet he still has an acute awareness of how difficult it is to make it in the music scene.
A number of Belfast’s upcoming singer songwriters not only had the opportunity to perform during the support slot but they also had the opportunity to join Richie and the band on stage during the encore. Richie made sure they were introduced properly to the audience, knowing some of these musicians I know they will be on a high for sometime to come.
A remarkable night of music but especially guitar, Richie has promised to come back, let’s hope he does!