Anthony Gomes: Hendrix and Clapton Tribute @ Family Arena, St. Charles, MO

Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
“Music is my religion.” - Jimi Hendrix

"Music will always find its way to us, with or without business, politics, religion, or any other bullshit attached. Music survives everything, and like God, it is always present. It needs no help, and suffers no hindrance". - Eric Clapton, from "Clapton: The Autobiography"

With the two above quotes and one picture, I could probably finish this story but suspense novels are not my forte'.

On a last minute approval, I was packing up my gear and heading just a few miles down the road to cover one of my favorite guitarists, Anthony Gomes.  If anyone remembers, I covered Anthony's show last February at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups in St. Louis. And if anyone remembers, I was blown away by his guitar skills and may have even ventured to put him in my all-time favorite guitar slingers list.  Well I'm here to tell you his performance at Family Arena did nothing but enhance my opinion of Mr. Gomes.  While covering Anthony's show last year, he briefly took time out to honor Mr. Hendrix and Mr. Clapton and did their work nothing but justice. So here we are a year later, student paying tribute to the teachers with a full 90-minute gig. 

As luck would have it, this short notice show would be on a night I had to work my real job and therefore I would only be able to cover the first 45-minute set. No worries, I got this. As Anthony took the stage, one got the feeling that there was as sense of apprehension but that would soon dissipate,  as Anthony shed the skin of his out of place suit jacket to reveal the comfort of the standard black rock and roll t-shirt.  A couple of songs in and Anthony began making those world famous guitar god faces as the backing rhythm section consisting of Roger Femali (drums) and Roberto Agosto (bass) fell in to the groove pocket. Looking at the setlists, one could see that Mr. Gomes took extra care in selecting the songs that would be played.  Covering long-forgotten classics such as Cream's "Strange Brew" and "Politician", paired with classic covers of Hendrix's  "Red House" and "Spanish Castle Magic."   The songs chosen appear to have won over many in the audience that were first time viewers of Mr. Gomes's performance. It seemed just as the stage lights were warming up, as were Anthony and the band it was time for me to go. I would conclude this shortened evening of live music coverage with a lasting memory. Two songs before the end of the first half of this tribute to the lords of the modern guitar, Anthony, who thrives on being intimate with his audience, made the call for those in the floor seats to leave their seats and approach the stage.  Well as one could imagine, there was no hesitation from the attentive, mixed bag of attendees. Thus, giving the 8500 some odd square feet allotted to Mr. Gomes's performance a club feel that he is so accustomed to.

I'm going to wrap this up with a brief explanation of the picture that appears at the beginning of this piece.  While editing the pics for this story I wanted to convey the essence of Anthony Gomes. This is hard to do unless you experience his live show. So the pic I chose had the attitude I was looking for then I remembered I had access to a great program that did weird things to pictures. The end result,  Gomes pulled off an act that became a real life Jekyll & Hyde + 1: one part Hendrix, one part Clapton, and the one part that shone the brightest, Anthony Gomes. Thanks as usual to Anthony Gomes and Rhonda ( I'm still waiting on my autographed all access laminate) Pierce. Pictures of the show are below:

Contributed by Duane Clawson
Anthony Gomes: Hendrix and Clapton Tribute @ Family Arena, St. Charles, MO Anthony Gomes: Hendrix and Clapton Tribute @ Family Arena, St. Charles, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on May 04, 2013 Rating: 5
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