Buddy Guy Live at the Ellnora Guitar Festival
by Allison Spillane
I was truly excited when arriving at Krannert for Buddy Guy’s performance. His name alone carries a lot of weight. My father was particularly excited when I told him about the event, hyping up this show as a rare experience to see a musical legend play live. The entirety of Krannert Center was buzzing as we awaited the main show.
What captivated me most about Buddy Guy’s performance was his stage presence. His technical skill and passion were astonishing, but I had never seen someone as in tune with a crowd as this man was. From the first time the crowd botched a call-and-response section of a song, I knew I was in for a wild night. Buddy swore at the audience, disappointed in our meager response section of mumbled lyrics. It was like the first time you hear a teacher swear, it makes the whole experience seem so much more real. Another thing that Buddy did was bring the audience to a place he was comfortable with. He used his experiences and his storytelling to educate the audience on what it was like to be a blues musician – or any kind of person – during the time of his youth. The insight on his background made his music and lyrics that much more effective. However, probably the most memorable thing that Buddy Guy was his stint into the audience. When Buddy Guy moved, so did the audience. It was amazing to see a group of people so captivated that they quite literally unintentionally leaned their whole body in his direction. Like moths to a flame. Buddy Guy held an audience like I’ve never seen.