Tag Archives: Joe Satriani

G3 Live @ Beacon Theater New York City – February 16, 2018

Photo credit is Terry R. Wickham/Mantaray Pictures LLC

 

Review by Terry R. Wickham

Friday February 16th, 2018 was a terrific night to celebrate my favorite musical instrument in the world, the guitar.  If you love guitar playing as much as I do, then this was an all-out commemoration of the six-string (sometimes more strings) instrument by three of the top world class players who rule the instrument.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

What was so great about this show was the diversity delivered by the three players and the bands they commanded.  It kind of reminds me of how my feature film Devil’s Five is so worthwhile for an audience.  In our case, we have five different type of films that each are uniquely different but threaded together for the same purpose.  This G3 Show featured the similar concept, where three different guitarists brought varying degrees of modus operandi, but banded together gave the audience a wonderful mixture of musical flair and texture.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

Def Leppard lead guitarist Phil Collen has an All-Star side band called Delta Deep.  It’s a totally different incarnation than his long-time legendary English Rock band.  It’s a heavy blues outfit featuring the incredible vocals of Debbi Blackwell-Cook, bass from Craig Martino, drums by Forrest Robinson (Joe Sample & The Crusaders, India. Arie, TLC).

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

First Phil Collen came out firing away with a couple quick instrumental tracks that showed all of us his six-string prowess.  The man was ripping out quick runs on his guitar and accenting his hyperkinetic solos with deep bluesy riffs that would make Albert King and Buddy Guy smile with pride.

Then we all got the treat of hearing Delta Deep’s NYC hometown dynamic vocalist Debbi Blackwell-Cook do her thing.  This woman is a true blues queen, expressing the frustration and hurt meaning of lyrical representations of sadness and despair with the grit and conviction of a musical genre monarch.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

I looked around the crowd while Delta Deep was playing, people were enjoying their brand of spiritual, hardworking folk music with soul.  It seems that the blues is the type of music that anyone can enjoy, and it always provides the framework for musical improvisation and jamming.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

I think Delta Deep won over a bunch of new fans, myself included.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

Next came New York (Kings Park in Long Island) hometown guitarist mastermind John Petrucci, who never ceases to amaze me.  His band began their set with a lengthy cinematic intro, then Petrucci, who has grown out his hair and beard (which Debbi Blackwell-Cook described as Jesus like), provided no-holds barred assault of six-seven string attack that left everyone stunned by his expertise on the instrument.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

What I liked most about Petrucci’s music is that, in his own words, that he delivered the “Metal” for the night.  Huge chucky, fat guitar riffs had all of us metal folk screaming for more.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

John played many of the songs off his solo album Suspended Animation. Petrucci’s music was so heavy and thick with metallic delight that the audience just totally dug it. There was a lot of fans following his every note.  John mentioned that his wife and two daughters were in attendance and because he’s from Long Island, I believe he probably played even more inspired than usual.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

What’s so great about his guitar playing was not only was it technically proficient and impressive, but he always kept melody at the forefront.   Petrucci’s was honest when he said after doing six or seven G3 tours, he realizes the G3 platform is the best place any guitar player could ever get, because guitar takes center stage.  I would agree as the instrument becomes the voice of the songs and it just proved to be true through all the sets.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

One of my favorite tracks of the night was when Petrucci and his band, Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs) on bass and Mike Mangini (Dream Theater) on drums played a new song created for this G3 tour called “Glassy-eyed Zombies.”  It was heavy &  cool and the fact it was horror themed made me & one of my Devil’s Five partners George Brianka, love it even more.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

Joe Satriani’s performance was as advertised.  Satriani always brings a very inspired show as he’s absolutely a showman as a guitar player.  It’s not just his playing but what he does on the stage that excites and thrills fans the world over.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

What struck me the most about Satriani’s show is the pure joy he seems to be getting from playing before an audience and soaking in the dedicated fans supporting the guitar roller coaster that has become G3.  It’s honestly a brilliant concept from not only from a musical or audience viewing perspective, but business move on his part.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

It shows his innovative nature that has been proven by the long list of achievements spread out of the past three decades.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

His setlist included quite a few of his newer tracks from the last couple albums “Cherry Blossoms” and “Thunder High on the Mountain” to name a few, which I think is smart to give listeners new things to latch onto and enjoy.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

The Silver Surfer guitarist also went back to some of the classics like “Satch Boogie” and “Always With Me, Always With You” from Surfing from the Alien and other tunes from his considerable catalog.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

Joe also gladly shares the stage and gives his band equal spotlight time, which shows not only his willingness to allocate the experience, but demonstrates his leadership and admiration for what they do together.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

Satch’s band consisted of Bryan Beller on bass, Mike Keneally on keyboards/guitar and Joe Travers on drums.  Beller looked like he was having a great time and Keneally is just a musical ambidextrous chameleon playing both keyboard and guitar with equal authority.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

The biggest surprise of the night for me was the inclusion of “The Voice of Rock” Glenn Hughes, who joined everyone for the three encore songs beginning with a rousing rendition of Deep Purple’s legendary “Highway Star.”

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

Everyone was shocked at how easily the Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion vocalist belted out the high notes that could match his voice from 30 plus years ago.  Wow!

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

Next came a rockified version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”, where Delta Deep’s Debbi Blackwell- Cook joined Hughes to front the vocals of the 1972 hit.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

Lastly the full stage of musicians unified for a truly invigorating interpretation of the Freddie King classic and G3 Staple “Going Down.”  Each guitarist got equal measure of bars to bring their own touch to the song, breaking into countless ways to supercharge it.

February 16, 2018: G3 perform at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Photo credit is Carl Scheffel/MSG Photos

If you haven’t got a chance to see G3, then this review should service notice to you why you should attend one of the shows.  Not only will everyone blow you away with their musical Wizardry, but you will honestly feel the musicians’ humble appreciation for you attending and supporting what they love to do.  Being at a G3 Event is a night truly to remember and will most likely stay with you for a lifetime.

Get your tickets now for upcoming shows in the US and Europe:

http://www.satriani.com/G3/

02.18.2018
NEWARK, NJ
NEW JERSEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
02.20.2018
ROCHESTER, NY
AUDITORIUM THEATRE
02.21.2018
TORONTO, ON CA
MASSEY HALL
02.22.2018
NORTHFIELD, OH
HARD ROCK LIVE
02.23.2018
CHICAGO, IL
CHICAGO THEATRE
02.24.2018
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
STATE THEATRE
02.25.2018
MILWAUKEE, WI
RIVERSIDE THEATRE

 

Joe Satriani – What Happens Next

Joe Satriani – What Happens Next

Sony/Legacy Recordings – 2018

“Energy” kicks off Joe Satriani’s 16th solo album What Happens Next with a thrust of power that’s sure to charge your musical soul.  The enigmatic guitarist is right in his element, singing out with his guitar in a way that has made him famous over the past thirty plus years.  Rhythm section of Bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Black Country Communion) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers/Chickenfoot) bring a deep pocket groove that anyone could jam along with.

Smith’s hard-hitting percussion allows Satch to do his cosmic six-string thing in “Catbot.”  This tune reminds me of a cross between “The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing” and one of the harder driving songs off The Extremist.

There’s a native American feel to “Thunder High on the Mountain.”  This probably stems from the huge bass drum kick that Chad Smith puts down during the first half of the song.

“Cherry Blossoms” is a tender piece where Satriani adds guitar in soft little ways, while Smith pounds out another heavy percussive approach.

There’s a spiritual touch to “Righteous.  The bass and drums foundation in this track allow Satch to get expressive with a touch of funky guitar texture and patterns.

“Smooth Soul” has a real cool down relaxing way about it.  I can’t say enough how the bottom end of this album makes the musical base solid.  It’s tight and is perfect for letting Satriani do his thing.  The thing that also stands out so much about this song is how comfortable Joe Satriani feels within his composition.

“Headrush” provides a stomping good time.  It’s a boogie piece the moves at an up-tempo pace with the drums and bass providing the groundwork for Joe to get expressive with his bluesy rock-n-roll.  I found the most interesting aspect the soft guitar playing while Satriani was playing some heavier edge stuff on top of it.

“Looper” sounds like a cousin of one of the tunes you would have heard from Satriani’s self-titled 1995 album.  It’s got that kind of guitar sound and overall groove.

I love the song title “Super Funky Badass.”  Satch harnesses his inner-coolness to channel bluesy-groove driven guitar that only his six-string highness can do for our listening delight.  The bass and drums are just perfect, and the sound recorded by Producer/Engineer/Mixer Mike Fraser is so pristine that I’d call it close to an audio work of art.

The ending like beginning of “Invisible” gives it immediate energy.  The drum beat in this eleventh track is active and fun to listen to.  The way the bass rhythm takes over one and half minutes into the song is cool.  The sound of Satriani’s notes that follow is quite amazing. This song has almost a live-jazz like performance, which done with high energy rock-no-roll makes for something special.

“Forever and Ever” is a purposeful way to send warmth to listeners of this impressive album.

I’d say What Happens Next is a truly special album because it’s tremendously diverse, recorded at the highest level of production, with musical performances nothing short of inspired.  Satriani and his bandmates caught a spark of musicality on this one, not seen often in today’s world of music.

www.satriani.com

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