Fox Theatre Tucson Arazona Concert Review

  • Mary Andrews - AXS Contributor
  • Saturday, 17 October 2015
  • Joan Armatrading: Mischievous and mesmerizing show at the Fox Theatre

    Joan Armatrading made a stop at Tucson’s Fox Theatre during her ‘last major world tour’ October 16, 2015. Forty years of touring has not worn her down. She is one of the most enduring singer/songwriters around and this show was proof of why she has captivated audiences worldwide for so long.

    Ms. Armatrading announced early in the show that this was the 250th show of this tour. She is not planning to retire, but she simply is tired of leaving home to go on tour and returning a year later. Joking she said, “I’m quite tired and so this is the last song.” The crowd laughed since she had not started playing yet. She, then, announced that her first song would be “All the Way From America.” She said,“Those of you who know the song, please join in. Those of you who don’t know the song, don’t join in.” Her sense of humor was in full gear for the night.

    Joan Armatrading brought three guitars and a keyboard and a small screen in the background to augment her show, but no band. Many reviewers have compared Joan’s guitar licks as the second coming of Jimi Hendrix. She played many styles of guitar during this show. She is still SO good. No one seemed to miss the band!

    Photos were displayed that encapsulated her rich career and she narrated the photos periodically during the show. Her narrations were priceless particularly regarding her early career. Photos of her and Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Nelson Mandela and much more. She seemed to be especially proud of her one-on-one meeting with Mr. Mandella. Thirty years ago, Ms. Armatrading was shy and did not converse with the fans. Since that time she has performed for crowds of 250,000 people at one time. That seems to have tempered her shyness.

    The songs in the set were a selection of blues, folk, pop, rock, and jazz. Her style of songwriting is raw, soul bearing and brutally honest. Blend the song selection with her commanding, husky, rich and emotional voice and the result is magic. Joan can deliver falsetto as well as baritone with total control. This was one of the most spellbinding performances ever. Forty years has only served to make her better. Tucson has nothing but ‘love and affection’ for Joan Armatrading!