You could never mistake the NEC Arena for the House of Blues, but for nearly three hours on Saturday, Gary Moore and BB King turned the vast hangar into the most intimate blues club you've ever been to.
Both could be termed veterans in terms of their experience, but BB obviously shades it, having reached his 80th birthday recently, while Gary Moore is a mere whippersnapper at 54.
The show kicked off promptly with Gary Moore striding onstage with his three-piece band, including Brian Downey of Thin Lizzy on drums.
Moore played with passion, control and supreme dexterity. Highlights included a masterful Midnight Blues which allowed him to extend the range of his tenderness and subtlety, contrasted with the full in-your-face power of Still Got The Blues together with the encore of The Blues Is Alright. And yet the surprise was the gentle closer of Randy Newman's I Think It's Gonna Rain Today.
Moore plays his blues as if his life depended on every note, but he never loses sight of the emotion involved.
If Gary Moore is the archetypal British blues man, then BB King represents all that is quintessentially American.
An eight-piece band warmed up the audience with a couple of jazz/blues numbers before BB was introduced.
What followed was part variety show, part vaudeville, part supper club.
BB tells stories, plays some of the most delicious blues guitar and sings like a man half his age. The arena holds something like 10,000 but he spoke as if he were adressing everyone personally.
The man has done this so many times, yet the whole show was fresh, slick and above all, soulful. The groove of Rock Me Baby was infectious, Key To The Highway is just sublime, and The Thrill Is Gone majestic.
Because he now has to sit down throughout his show, BB's encores form a part of the main show. But even this was a masterstroke.
What other musician would finish his set by getting his assistant to present him with his overcoat, scarf and cap and then, with a final wave to his adoring public, disap-pear offstage?
Blues Summit - Part Two is July 11 at the NIA with Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy.