After a stellar opening outing by 19 year old guitar protege Chase Foster, Tommy Emmanuel took the stage and wowed every last one of the 700+ audience members in a rousing performance to the nearly packed house. Those who weren’t die-hard fans before they took their seats, surely left them as such. A consumate entertainer whose incredible talent-cum-mirth was evident from the first note, wrought so many standing ovations throughout the show, that I stopped counting after the sixth. “Fingerstyle” guitar only begins to describe how Tommy plays his instrument, which is more acurately, an extension of his person. Moreover, Tommy seems to treat his guitars as mere suggestions as a type of instrument. In numerous songs, he used it for myriad percussive sounds, at other times, a harp, a didgeridoo, even the songs of nightbirds. He must be a magician as well as a musician — I only saw ten fingers, but I’m pretty certain twenty more were being used. Highlights of the evening, and it’s hard to single them out, were Tommy’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and an instrumental homage to the Aboriginees of his Austrialian homeland. In the former, Tommy incorporated per-note harmonics as well as chorded harmonics that sounded like tiny stars falling from the heavens. Tribal melodies, indiginous instruments and the bellowing sounds found in Austrialian nature, were unmistakable in the latter piece in which Tommy used a guitar and only some pedal effects. Mezmerizing! Note to Tommy — Next time, don’t wait so long to get here. The Palladium and Tampa Bay love you!