Joe Satriani / Steve Vai / John Petrucci
For the third instalment of this now famous gathering of six string slingers, Joe has invited regular sidekick, Steve Vai and also called upon the services of none other than John Petrucci whose name should be familiar to anyone with ears and an iPod.
As expected, each player is in blistering form and perform like there is no tomorrow. John's 2 songs, while fairly lengthy ably demonstrate why he is so highly revered in musical circles. His style of playing displays so much beauty, and organic feel for each song and you can easily tell he has taken a lot of time to construct each series of notes to ensure a very tight and purposeful fit. His sound is probably the most convincing of the three if nothing for the fact that he relies more on his compositional skills compared to Joe and Steve who serve up layers of flash and feisty pyrotechnics that some might label as self indulgent wankery. Thankfully I prefer to fully absorb what each player is trying to achieve before making opinions about any particular performance and realise that each player's preference for impressing the audience is all part of the show. If you can accept the fact that both Satch and Vai like to ham it up for the camera more so than John, you can accept that John's performance is no less riveting or convincing, merely less visually stimulating. All in all however, you certainly get your money's worth with each guitarist doing their best to aurally stimulate you in a way that an old crystal set could never do. The amazing variety of sounds that Joe and Steve in particular are able to extract from the assortment of gadgets attached to their guitars might have you thinking these guys were piloting an Airbus 380. While the band deliver a more technically processed sound, it still rocks hard and will have any lover of fast and heavy guitar based rock music looking for a change of Y-fronts.
Joining this amazingly talented triad are legends, Billy Sheehan, Matt Bissonnette and Dave Le Rue on bass, Mike Portnoy, Jeremy Colson and Jeff Campitelli on drums with Dave Werner and Galen Henson on rhythm guitar while the very capable Tony McAlpine provides some additional keyboard and guitar to complete that obligatory wall of sound. Although Mike's appearance is pretty brief, he sure proves he is one mother of a player, his ability being so damned good with some brilliant fills being thrown around the kit all the time. He is just so pleasing to watch and will surely gather a few more fans after this very dynamic performance.
Needless to say the boys get stuck into some good old fashioned classic 70's rock from Hendrix, Purple and ZZ Top for their final 3 song jam and as expected, totally rip things to shreds. When you see each player lined up in a row, exchanging solid guitar licks with each other every few seconds, you can appreciate the time these guys have spent in honing their craft. As an overall entertainment package, things just get better with each performance and are rated accordingly:
John Petrucci – 4 ½
Steve Vai – 4
Joe Satriani 4
Overall - 4 ½
1. Glasgow Kiss
2. Damage Vontrol
3. The Audience is Listening
4. Building The Church
6. Up In Flames
9. Foxy Lady
10. La Grange
11. Smoke On The Water
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