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Pat Metheny // Live @ the Bomhard Theater // 10.6.23

Article & Photos by: Michael W. Bright

Louisville, KY– James Brown was immortalized as “the hardest working man in show business.” Well, at least that’s what he called himself. I’ve come to believe that he is rivaled by Pat Metheny. 

This guy loves the road. He loves to perform, he loves to record and he even loves to practice. It’s been mentioned in several places that it’s not unusual for him to practice up to eight hours a day. He plays well with others in the sandbox. All of those things become apparent when you witness his performance. He has released a recording of one kind or another, nearly every year since Bright Size Life debuted in 1976. 

I’ve seen Pat a dozen times, (and I call him Pat because his first album and my first jazz radio show coincided in Boston, an unspoken, special, secret, connection) but his October 6 solo show at the cozy Bomhard Theater was something very special. 

Pat Metheny

To simply categorize him as a jazz guitarist is inaccurate, unfair and uninformed. On the current  “Dream Box” tour, he shines brilliantly with pop, rock, orchestral jazz, fusion, avant-garde, progressive or Latin. Whether its a reworking of his familiar set-opener “Phase Dance” (1978) or breathing new life into a medley of songs from Beyond the Missouri Sky (Short Stories), (1997), a collaboration between Metheny and Charlie Haden, his super power is his soaring improvisations. His reimagined arrangements of both “Here There, and Everywhere” and “And I Love Her” provided me a renewed appreciation for Sir Paul’s melodies, and literally brought tears.

Pat Metheny

He uncharacteristically spoke to the audience between most songs, revealing a sense of humor about personal history, people he’d played with over a lengthy career, peculiar details about his custom built guitars… casual but riveting. Picking up his awe-inspiring 72 string guitar he explained that with that many strings there was a greater chance of him hitting the right note. 

Whether you are a Pat Metheny enthusiast or just dedicated to exceptional guitar work, this show will leave you astonished. His solo tour continues into April 2024 with some lengthy breaks between now and then. Visit for more information. Check out more photos from the performance below.

Michael W. Bright
Michael W. Bright enjoyed a 30 year career in rock radio, both on the air and most notably as Program Director of seminal Alternative Rock icon WFNX in Boston. His first concert experience was Jefferson Airplane in 1967 and he hasn't gotten live music out of his system yet. He currently lives on a small farm in pastoral Pewee Valley, outside of Louisville, Kentucky with his huge family.