It was a demonstration in the mastery of one’s craft; it was electrifying and it was a joy to watch. One of the world's most respected and influential guitarists, Joe Satriani, proved to the Sydney audience, once again, why he is still a force to be reckoned with after a glittering career spanning well over a quarter of a century and tons of guitar greats who he has mentored over that time.
This tour was in support of his 14th studio album, 'Unstoppable Momentum' and he was supported by another veteran, Mike Keneally on keyboard and guitar, Bryan Beller on bass and Marco Minnemann on drums.
Joe or 'Satch', as he is affectionately known the world over, was mesmerising from the start to finish. During the gig that lasted close to 2 hours, the audience witnessed total control of an electric guitar which, in this case, is his own line of signature Ibanez guitars that he’s been playing with for a long time.
The virtuoso guitarist, who has been voted the best guitarist in the world numerous times and has perfected every possible guitar technique in the book, was a true piece of art himself. And he was fast; he has always been, as if he’s waiting on the world to catch up to him. At 58, he never seemed to slow down. He is someone who got hold of a guitar after learning of the death of Jimmy Hendrix and declared to those around him that he wanted to be a guitarist at 14.
Joe is not just a fast-tapping-finger-blazing guitarist. Don’t get me wrong. Having studied Jazz religiously and influenced by guitar greats like Hendrix, Clapton, Brian May, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, Joe’s music has always been a pleasure to listen to. He can make his guitar talk, express, whim and moan and, above all, run like the wind like only a few others in this world can dare to match.
To the Sydney State Theatre audience at the event brought to us by LiveNation, Joe at one point during the gig, said ‘there’s so much music to play and so much coming out of my fingers’, implying that there’s not enough time to play all he wanted. But in those two hours, I got the opportunity to witness complete mastery of guitar including arpeggio tapping and two-handed tapping, legato, extreme whammy bar effects, volume swells, harmonics and more. At one time, he even played with his teeth like Hendrix and, this time, way faster.
Marco's drum solo was amazing as he beautifully blended hard-hitting with precision and was in total control of his instrument and his emotion. I have witnessed great drum solos where the drummer goes with the flow and goes as hard and fast as he can but Marco's performance was different. He was hard and fast but was also precise, light and controlled.
Another highlight of the show was the beautiful cinematic background of scenery and effects that took the audience to a whole different world alongside his music.
Satriani was supported by opening act, sitdownservant, a duo from Texas who were pretty impressive in their first tour of Australia.
One can't help but be impressed by the wizardry on stage. I look forward to seeing what Satriani does next.
To view gallery of images click HERE
If you are in Perth on 11 November 2014, you can witness Satriani at his best at the Astor Theatre - his last Australian date for this tour!
by Prajwol Bhattarai
© Prajwol Bhattarai 2014 - All rights reserved