Joe Satriani @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (4/13/2006)

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Artist: Joe Satriani
Venue: Nokia Theatre Times Square (New York, NY)
Opener: Eric Johnson
Date: 4/13/2006
Label: Epic Records

I have to start this off by stressing that I am a drummer, and while some of my review readers already have determined this; it bears mentioning again especially since I was going to be reviewing Joe Satriani in concert. “Satch”, as all of his fans refer to him is pretty much one of the best guitar players in the business and he is the mastermind behind the G3 Tour that often finds him alongside Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen as well as many other talented players. Tonight’s show would not be a G3 performance and instead be billed as “The Super Colossal Tour” (the name bears the same moniker as his new album). Joining Joe and his band this time would be another amazing guitarist the one and only Eric Johnson. Johnson music leans more to the bluesy side and this is very apparent on his most recent release “Bloom”. The Nokia Theatre would be the perfect setting for this concert because while it seems a great room for Metal bands there is an acoustic perfection to be enjoyed when attending a show like this. While Johnson would play a wide assortment of songs during his hour long set, his most memorable number would come from his earlier album as he closed with “Cliffs Of Dover”. Instrumental guitar displays seldom keep me entertained for very long but I have to say when you watch Satriani play he makes it look so fluid and simple. It is not the case of course as he is ripping the strings to their capacity and making every guitarist in the audience drop their jaw in amazement or sending them home to review their tablature books.

Joe’s band would also be a very tight unit with drummer Jeff Campitelli doing some serious time-keeping, and holding his own against some of the material recorded by Simon Phillips (a powerhouse player in his own right). Dave LaRue would be holding it together on bass while a surprising second guitarist Galen Hensen. Satch would perform a very solid set and since this was my first time I found myself mesmerized by his level of playing ability. It was indeed a treat to find myself in the photo pit to shoot some stills as he wailed on the axe. Watching him during these first three songs I have to admit that it seems like Joe is watching us as much as we are watching him. He also seems to be enjoying himself in the most genuine of fashions.

I admit I was surprised that Johnson did not come out and do any sort of jam with him, but I guess it was not entirely necessary since he had a full set of his own. That’s more a G3 thing as I understand. One of the added treats would be the chance to win a one of a kind Ibanez guitar with the proceeds going to charity. Satriani would play this guitar at one point during the show, and that made winning the item more interesting since you knew he actually performed on it. This was a great time for the sold-out house which as you can imagine was a lot of guitar players or musicians on the whole. I’m glad I finally got to see him and actually prefer this to the talked about G3 since in this setting you get a longer Satriani set list. Never a bad thing when you consider the overall appeal and difference in his songs, they are a lot easy to enjoy than others of this type and Joe surely gives you his all on every single one of them.

Set List:
1. Flying In A Blue Dream
2. The Extremist
3. Redshift Riders
4. Cool #9
5. A Cool New Way
6. Satch Boogie
7. Super Colossal
8. Just Like Lightnin’
9. Ice 9
10. One Robot’s Dream
11. Ten Words
12. The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing
13. The Meaning Of Love
14. Made Of Tears
15. Circles
16. Always With Me, Always With You
17. Surfing With The Alien
18. Crowd Chant
19. Summer Song

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