Saw Joe Bonamassa 21.9.13.Sharp suit and sunglasses. A grounded and amiable man. Blistering virtuosity. Always worth the trip.
It's years since I was at the ("Phones 4 u" - really?!) Arena. I had no recollection of steep stairs which every other visitor seems to have fixated on.
The Eiger this place is not. It is a touch steep which is exacerbated by a total lack of handrails. My "Local" music venue is the Sheffield (Motorpoint) Arena, which is well - equipped in the handrail department. I think this is down to wider steps which allowed a handrail to be fitted down the centre of the steps.
Anyway, enough of the accessibility. The venue is a typical concrete and breeze, 1990's functional, no nonsense arena. For the visit of the Maestro the arena was divided in half, stage in the centre, curtain back drop, seating about 4,000 and giving an amazing intimate feel. (Front - row seats were also helpful.) The last time I saw JB, at Sheffield Arena, the same set up was employed and it works really well. Sound was spot on. Everything not nailed down about my person jumped about with the pounding bass, yet the ringing ears I often suffer from were completely absent. I was able to order drinks and crisps at the hotel bar afterwards without shouting or repetition. The performance was very clear throughout.
I think the limited seating kept the venue quiet. Queues for w.c. and drinks were small. The venue was clean and tidy. As it's structurally connected to Manchester Victoria, and there is a vast car park next door,transport links could not be better. A good experience, thank you MEN,an amazing performance from an amazing talent, thanks to JB.