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Joe Satriani Live in Vancouver

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Friday, May 6, 2005 @ 2:09 PM


At The Commodore Ballroom

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By: "hueseph"

First off, I have to say I'm not worthy to do a review for this 'cause I've never really been a Satriani fan. That being said I've a newfound respect, maybe fear, no, awe of Joe Satriani.

He pretty well covered the first two albums. In the first set, classics "Always With You Always With Me", "Satch Boogie" and "Strange" were standouts. The third tune he did was "Moroccan Sunset."

Outstanding! I'd never really listened to the song before but it became quite apparent that, at least for this show, this was an allusion to "Mediterranean Sundance" by Al Di Meola and Paco De Lucia. Same key. Same progression. Totally different take on the idea. He played with Di Meola's tendency to use diminished runs in transition to a major or minor riff but with such a different approach. It's hard to describe. Just amazing technique you had to know he felt every note. Every note had it's purpose. Every note deliberate.

He opened the second set by playing "Sleepwalk." Y'know the old 50's instrumental. Only he kept changing the key ever so slightly. He kept shifting up a half step or down a half step. I don't know if I'm the only one who noticed this. Maybe it was the cloud that was hovering 'bout 5 feet off the floor. The band was there with him though. They were tight. Maybe only one minor mistake by the drummer and again I'm not to sure if anyone noticed.

As the night drew on. You could hear hints of Vai, Eddy, Hammett, Hendrix and even SRV floating into his playing. It was cool. Like he was paying homage to his peers but at the same time he shamed them, because damn if he ain't the master! At one point he even slipped into "Cashmere" for 20 odd bars.

Seriously. The show was astonishing! Here's four 40 something's that could wipe the stage with most of the "talent" that's touring out there. Satriani is so much better now than he was when Surfing With The Alien came out. Hard as that is to believe. The man can shred. The show last about 3 hours and finished with an encore of "Friends."

My only complaint is that the room was full of guitar geeks. Myself included. There may have been 20 girls in the building and most of them were waitresses.

Haven't decided yet if I wanna burn my gear or practice hard. Either way this show changed my conception of what a good guitarist is.



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