Pure Rock Patroller
Thursday, August 22, 2002 @ 9:33 PM
Dream Theater, Joe Satriani an
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On an extremely warm night, a virtual “who’s who” of progressive metal/hard rock heated up the stage at Concord’s Chronicle Pavilion, delighting a smallish crowd of 5,000 air guitarists, bassists, and drummers. For pure musicianship and song writing ability, they don’t come much better than Satch, Dream Theater, and King’s X. This was made abundantly clear at Sunday’s show.
First up was the most criminally underrated band on the planet, King’s X. Having been relegated to the club circuit on their last several tours, it was great to see this band back on a larger stage. Although most of the crowd was still filtering in during their set, the band pleased die-hards and won over some new fans, with the groovy “Dogman,” melodic “It’s Love,” and raucous “We Were Born to be Loved.” Doug Pinnick’s voice was soulful from the get-go, with Ty Tabor and Jerry Gaskill adding beautiful melodies and fine musicianship to the mix. If you’ve never heard this band, do yourself a favor and pick up some of their work – they are the real deal.
Dream Theater, holding the middle-slot on the West Coast portion of this co-headlining tour, hit the stage at dusk, opening with old favorite “Pull Me Under.” From the onset, it was clear that John Petrucci (guitar), John Myung (bass), Jordan Rudess (keyboards), and Mike Portnoy (drums) would take a back seat to nobody where musical “chops” were concerned. Each took a turn dazzling the crowd with intricate solos, brilliantly worked into the structure of the band’s songs. Highlights included “Fatal Tragedy” and “Dance of Eternity” from the group’s dizzying Scenes From a Memory CD, newer tracks like “Misunderstood” and “Solitary Shell,” as well as Doug Pinnick of King’s X joining the band on stage to add backing vocals on “Lines in the Sand.” On the down side, closing with the (at times) slower paced “Learning to Live” seemed to kill some of the momentum the band garnered during their polished set, and seemed to tire the crowd who had been on their feet from the beginning of the band’s performance. Despite that, Dream Theater is still worth catching any day of the week – fantastic musicians with a great repertoire of songs.
Bay Area native Joe Satriani closed the night with a brilliant set consisting of numbers from the new Strange Beautiful Music CD, as well as favorites from throughout his illustrious career. Bass player Matt Bissonette and drummer Jeff Campitelli were up to the task of keeping up with the mesmerizing Satch, and rounded out what needs to be one of the more diverse, talented trios in rock music today (perhaps with the exception of Rush). Oldies “Flying in a Blue Dream,” “I Believe,” and of course “Satch Boogie” were met with the greatest approval. Satriani’s followers are without a doubt amongst the most devoted fans in rock today; Satch’s every move was met with cheers from the loyal, but somewhat subdued, throng.
All in all, a terrific night for fans of great musicianship! Now when is the next G3 tour?
Joe Satriani – Flying In A Blue Dream; Crushing Day; Devil's Slide; Satch Boogie; Cool #9; Mind Storm; Seven String; Midnight; Starry Night; I Believe; Always With Me, Always With You; The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing; Raspberry Jam; Delta-V; Summer Song (80 minutes).
Dream Theater – Pull Me Under; 6:00; Fatal Tragedy; New Millennium; Misunderstood; Dance of Eternity; Lines In the Sand (with Doug Pinnick on backing vocals); The Spirit Carries On; Solitary Shell; Learning to Live (80 minutes).
King’s X – Dogman; Talk to You; Lost in Germany; Cigarettes; It’s Love; We Were Born to Be Loved (30 minutes).