April 26, 2016

Satriani Rides the Shockwave into Vancouver’s Eardrums

joe satriani scotty evil nightMair Creative

written by Scotty Evil

I was first dazzled by Joe Satriani’s guitar wizardry back in 1987. Maybe the nerd in me was drawn to the Sliver Surfer on the album cover of “Surfing with the Alien” …but whatever it was, worked.

Satriani brought all of those memories back, as fresh as yesterday, to a sold-out house at the Hard Rock Vancouver theatre. The audience was on the edge of their seats with anticipation and hung on for every note.

I read somewhere recently that if you are looking for most musical notes, this is the best bang for your buck. And with this tour celebrating a 30 year career, you even got your change back.

The sound mix was crisp and sheer to the point of leaving my ears ringing just slightly. With 3 other musicians who were up to the task of backing the swells and crescendos, Satriani plowed through a tight mix of old and new hits.

But a full concert of just never-ending guitar solos? Some may balk, but the man makes his instrument sing. And croon, wail, scream and even cry. I’m guessing that a good chunk of the audience were musicians (myself included) who were there not only to enjoy the music, but to see what dedication and craft to an instrument can be. Each song was a composition in every sense; some driving and hard rock (Cataclysmic) to soft and sensual tunes (Butterfly and Zebra). And all orders in between.

The second set was started off by an excellent and technical drum solo from Marco Minnemann. And the multi-instrumental work of Mike Keneally was very forward in the mix adding a liveliness to the mix and really refreshing some of the older material. Bryan Beller played down the bass and featured several solos as well.

And like a perfect circle, the encore ended with ‘Surfing with the Alien’. Everyone was on their feet, ears ringing with guitar riffs for the end of the night.

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written by Scotty Evil

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