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Will 88 year old B.B. King continue touring after bad St. Louis reviews? (so far, yes. Here are his upcoming dates)

BB King @ BB King’s, October 2013 (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)

A lot more people get called living legends than actually deserve it, but B.B. King is certainly one who does. At 88, he’s still going with a full slate of concerts this year. (We shot him last year in NYC when he was given the Isabella and Theodore Dalenson Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americans for the Arts.) But a concert in St. Louis over the weekend didn’t go so well:

For a while, the audience was with him, laughing at his jokes and asides. But it was 45 minutes into the show before King performed anything resembling a song. Even then, his playing was shaky. He explained that he and the band had been off for two months, causing him to lose confidence.

After a capable run-through of “Rock Me Baby,” he played “You Are My Sunshine” and asked the crowd to sing along. The house lights came up and King began noticing individuals and waving to them. As the song went around again and again, nattering on for — and this is not a misprint — 15 minutes, audience members began to heckle, yelling out requests or simply calling for King to “play some music!” Some walked out. – [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Video of that show is below. Let’s hope it was just an off night, though the YouTube comments are full of other examples. It’s a tough position to be in. He clearly still loves performing live but, like sports figures, you have to face retirement (or partial retirement) at some point. On the other hand, no matter how bad the show is (or expensive the tickets are), you shouldn’t boo B.B. King.

As mentioned, B.B. King is touring, including Lehman Performing Arts Center in the Bronx on April 19. Tickets are on sale. Also in the new york area he’s playing Red Bank, NJ’s Count Basie Theater on April 16 (tickets), and Bridgeport, CT’s Klein Memorial Auditorium on April 18 (tickets).

All dates are listed below.

B.B. King at the Peabody St. Louis, MO April 4, 2014

BB King — 2014 Tour Dates
Apr 09 Hard Rock Rock Csino Northfield – Northfield, OH
Apr 11 State Theater Ithaca, NY
Apr 12 Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel – Providence, RI
Apr 13 Lynn Auditorium – Lynn, MA
Apr 16 Count Basie Theatre – Red Bank, NJ
Apr 17 Palace Theatre – Albany, NY
Apr 18 Klein Memorial – Auditorium Bridgeport, CT
Apr 19 Lehman Performing Arts Center – Bronx, NY
May 30 Coronado Performing Arts Center – Rockford, IL
May 31 Rialto Square Theatre – Joliet, IL
Jun 1 Michigan Theatre – Ann Arbor, MI
Jun 6 Gold Strike Casino – Tunica Resorts, MS
Jun 7 Beau Rivage Theatre – Biloxi, MS
Jun 10 House of Blues Houston – Houston, TX
Jul 10 Hampton Beach Casino – Hampton Beach, NH
Jul 13 Indian Ranch Casino – Webster, MA
Jul 17 Warner Theatre – Washington DC
Jul 18 Penn’s Peak – Jim Thorpe, PA
Aug 27 Humphreys Concerts by the Bay – San Diego, CA
Aug 28 House of Blues Aneheim – Aneheim, CA

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