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Guinness Sho
(simon short)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Mon Sep 20 '04
4:21 am

Absolutely Back-Melting single sets with Joe's 'Always With Me' and Steve's 'Whispering a Prayer'

Not sure what Frippy was up to though, I take it he was the guy crouched down behind one of the amps

Dont take too long to come back to the UK (bring Van-Halen with you or Stanley Jordan)

CODKING Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 4 Posted:
Sat Sep 04 '04
12:24 pm
Were my party the only ones sitting opposite the right hand P.A. stack(as viewed by the band,you know,the one that Robert Fripp was hiding behind !!!) at the NIA in Birmingham,26th June 2004? I've seen Joe in Birmingham before and he was brilliant so, I told my two best friends and brother in-law that with Joe,Steve and Robert performing, the show had to be spectacular but what a dissapointment !!! Let me qualify that, the sound engineer wants shooting...... Correct me if i'm wrong but isn't everything mixed and blown out thru the P.A so that wherever you sit you can hear a perfectly balanced sound??? From where we sat the only things we heard well was Robert's set (but couldn't see him as he seemed to sit in the corner all night,) and the first two songs in Joes set. I don't know if the person on the sound desk is a DRUM N' BASS dj in their spare time but everything else seemed drowned out by the drums and the bass especially Steve.As i said when Joe came on stage and started with satch boogie it sounded well balanced and we could hear everythones instruments perfectly (if a little softly,) but third song into Joe's set UP came the drum and bass again.We couldn't hear half of Joe's amazing guitar work and when he tried to sing well, he finished half of every verse before we could hear his voice. I was really excited about this concert because i hadn't seen Steve live before but had watched the G3 DVD's so my expectations were high. Did Steve have a dose of the flu that night? and was Joe coming down with a similar bug because JOE looked all wrapped up in clothes and Steve had to keep blowing his nose?If so then i'd like to appologise for our poor summer weather and it would explain why they couldn't hear how badly the "sound engineer" was doing his job. Ever a great admirer of their amazing guitar work,Codking.

Skunkhour
(Michael Jennings)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Tue Aug 03 '04
1:09 pm
really was awesome.blown away by everything,and that was even before joe came on,he realy is amazing,you rule,is there going to be a g3 2005?1 last thing,strange question but does anyone know where i can get a hat like joes from off the net?or can someone tell me what the style name of the hat is?lol.cheers,

GodsBrother
(Dan Webb)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 8 Posted:
Thu Jul 22 '04
3:07 pm
Joe wasn't up to his ushual best, stilll got a BIG buzz when he walked on stage. That 30mins with robert fripp was more like tortue. And then there was Steve, he really saved the night for me, outstanding with the three guitars, and his support. Just trying to figure out how he kept old of his guitar while he was swinging it around his head?!!?!

Jam T
(Joe Tagg)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Thu Jul 22 '04
12:17 pm
My first time going to a concert and it was a very good starter. It was great.

graywolf
(Graham Chattin)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Mon Jul 19 '04
1:11 pm
Well, what can I add? This is the first time I've seen any of those 3 guys play, and they were all amazing! I thought before I went that taking Robert Fripp was a bit of a risk, and it was obviously true, as many found it hard going/didn't expect what Robert produced for his set, but all credit to him for sticking to his guns. I must admit, I was expecting something a little more mainstream, but found it totally absorbing. Steve Vai was astonishing, but does rather tend to go too far over the top at times, a little more self-control would have been good. As for Satch, what can I say? The man is a genius! A Perfect mix of old and new, played with total control and perfect technique. Looking forward to the next solo tour. He truly is one of rock's hidden treaures. The jam was amazing, particularly the version of Red, one of my favourite KC tunes. Thanks guys, keep on rockin'!

dap Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 5 Posted:
Thu Jul 08 '04
10:39 am
Travel from Germany to catch a show.......................I was Fripped.............40minutes of wallpaper to start audience yawning .......Steve Excellent............Joe too short..........G3..........too short........Red was OK but why not use 21st Century Schitzoid man or Larks tongues in aspic as G3 set

Gazzer
(Gary Sims)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Fri Jul 02 '04
12:07 pm
Just a quick note to say thanks Joe, another blistering gig. 5th time I’ve seen Joe even took along my 10 year old lad this time after taking him to Linkin Park last year (which incidentally were ok) thought it only right that he should see the master at work! Must admit though, having seen Joe on his own and at few G3 shows and as brilliant Steve Vai is, I’d rather listen/watch Joe. Shame there was no encore, so much that wasn’t played.

MIDNITEPLAYER Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Fri Jul 02 '04
5:06 am
Oh my god...G3 rocks.....although fripp was dissapointing.....he did a good job of covering satriani's ryhthm guitar. Steve vai's set was unbelieveable.....opening with the amazing triple necked guitar.....and doing classic tracks like im the hell out of here...and juice......now on to satriani's set....well........the whole show so far was basically a build up to satchs appearance.......the lights went out....and out strolled satch....the crowd just went wild...including me....and it was the best G3 performance i had ever seen.....although i am reluctant to say that.....even though it was a live concert.......satch was too loud.....and was dissapointing when you could no longer hear the sweet melody off always with me always with you, damn shame.....but aww well....neverless....it was an amazing set.....and the G3 jam just rocked....starting with satchs ice 9....then king crimsons red...and finishing with rocking in the free world....the best song ever.it was great.

chris_hendrix
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Thu Jul 01 '04
7:24 am
In one word incredible! This was the first time I had seen Satch/G3 and it totally lived up to my expectations. Fripp however did not. He sat in the corner of the stage and just made noise for half an hour, which seemed to drive the crowd crazy Amongst the rantings of "come on Stevie" and "get off the stage asshole" I actually felt a bit sorry for him, though you can't play on the same bill as the two best guitarists in the world and play rubbish like that. The mood soon changed when Vai casually walked on stage, picked up his triple neck jem and completly blew my mind. He opened with a solo introduction of "you're here" before the rest of the band took up their places and began an ore-inspiring hour long set which included "Reaping", "Answers", "Whisper a prayer" aswell as a breathe taking orchestral version of "For the love of god". The band as a whole were so tight and Vai pulled out all the stops, including playing with his tongue and some of the best harmony solos I have ever heard. Satch's set then followed and was just as jaw-dropping. Again as with Vai, his set was just over an hour much to my delight and conisited of 6 tracks from the new album, including "Hands in the air" and "Up in flames" aswell as classics like "Satch boogie", "War" "Cool no.9 "Flying in a blue dream" and "Always with me always with you" which was wrapped up a monster of a solo. The G3 jam was awesome to, and Fripp proved he really could play even though he had to stop during mid solo at one point to fart round with his amp. Overall the show was awesome. Three hours of guitaring brilliance!

sparrow
(Mark Taylor)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Wed Jun 30 '04
4:05 pm
Thanks for coming to the UK again Joe, I am sat hear in tears because it's going to be two years before your back. I feel so much emotion through you and your music you truely are the best. I consider you a true friend I have never felt like this before. (seeing tomorrow in Bournemouth have to see you again). Mark Taylor, Bristol, UK.

chocoholic
(sharon dzuba)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Wed Jun 30 '04
1:51 pm

Joe

Show at Birmingham was a ten for you, Robert Fripp, not so good, no real connection to yours of Vai's sound, not good. Steve was great when he played songs, wish he would concentrate more on playing than showing what guitar can do. You were superb as always, loved the red guitar, my on criticism was that it seemed more like a businesslike show, not much interaction with your adoring audience and you didn't come over to the right hand side of the stage (your left). That said, enjoyed the show, we waved bon boyage as you left the stage and my son loves his new JS shirt.

See you again Joe

Sharon (Chocoholic)

alfaade Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: Posted:
Tue Jun 29 '04
2:53 pm
Satch could not be botherd to mee the real fans tonight The ones who waited, in the rain for hours Until 2am in the morning Until a roadie had the good heart to tell us he had gone hours ago He drove right past us in a white volvo Thanks for nothing 'cos thats what we got !

DelfinoPie
(Martin Phillips)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Tue Jun 29 '04
7:47 am

I got to the arena, and straight away tried a way of sneaking my camera in, lol I know very naughty of me...but in the end the camera didn't even work. Anyway I was on my way to pick up my aftershow pass when I noticed the merch stand and I wanted to get Weiner's album before it sold out...which I achieved as well as getting a Joe Satriani t-shirt (for those of you who were there I got the white one with Joe in blue and green). I picked up my pass, took my seat and waited, Fripp entered and the audience seemed a little reserved when it came to the clapping. I was able to enjoy the rest of Fripp's set, it was very atmospheric and awe-inspiring, his music collaborated very well with the light display going on at the same time, a top class act and I hope he is on future G3's. Then Vai came on, and he was completely in top shape (musically anyway, physically I think he had a cold). His set was really cool, he played "im the hell outta here" which made my night, I love that song so much. Then the incredible Joe Satriani came on, and blew us away with a mixture of old and new, but everything was brilliant, they had a little improv on the end of "Searching" but who cares, it sounded good to me. Then it was time for the Jam, Ice 9 was the first song, and it kicked so much ass, Fripp proving to everyone he can do what people want him to (i.e playing the fast solos) however thats not his style, but his style is equally as powerful, if not more. Then some good ol' King Crimson was played followed by "Rocking In A Free World" which was just as amazing as it was when it was played with Yngwie. Then I got to the aftershow, after sitting on the floor complaining to my friend how stupid I was for not going for a piss before I went to the aftershow, I looked up only to find I was leaning against a wall which behind it housed the mens toilet lol When I came out after pointing percy at the porcelaine, Vai came through the doors and everyone sort of sighed/cheered...I dunno how to describe the noise everyone made.

Sheehan made a suprise entrance through the side doors and abducted two women he obviously knew lol. I got my shirt signed by Satch, as well as my ticket and my limited edition Surfing with the alien Cd, then I went over to Dave Weiner and he signed my copy of "Shove The Sun Aside" He is such a nice guy, he was talking about how he was using a different set of amps to what he usually uses, and telling me and my friend about playing techniques. I missed Tony McAlpine which was a shame because I wanted everyone to sign my ticket, I forgot to ask Campitelli to sign my ticket as well...but I got a picture with him, which was cool.

Over all it was an awesome night and I'm definitly going to the next G3

Delfino

meisenstadt Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Tue Jun 29 '04
7:35 am

Heh... I'm not even gonna *TRY* to augment the excellent earlier reviews, instead choosing to make a somewhat different commentary. {OK, if you're curious anyway, then suffice it say that I waited 12 years to see Joe Satriani, and WOOHOO am I glad I went!; I was unfamiliar with Vai ... everyone on this site knows how awesome he is, but I just wanted to add a comment about the wonderful HUMOUR (for lack of a better phrase) that he brings to his playing... with those little extra body, face, and hand motions in mid-air with which he wrings an extra few ounces of sound out of his guitar (not possible, right? wrong!) that turn his playing into a beautiful smooth-flowing DANCE.... [I won't comment on Fripp.. the others have said it already]

But I wanted to say something ELSE, because reviewing these guys is like reviewing a religious experience (so a textual review would kind of miss the point, at least coming from me, until I figure out how to write music reviews). I've had the very good fortune in my life to see many (non-classical) guitar legends, representing many different genres from Delta Blues, City Blues, and Bluegrass, to Jazz, Rock, Psychedelic, Heavy Metal, Progressive Jazz, and, well, 'Insane'. With this in mind, my comment is more on the nature of 'genres'... and please note that I can't even hope to name all the genres that have emerged nor even classify them very sensibly any more!

In the early 1980's I deliberately avoided a concert by Queen that was taking place less than a mile from my house. Reason: I was in rebellion against 'guitar heroes', 'strutting/posing on stage', 'glamour', 'wailing guitars', and was generally much more enthusiastic about various local punk and progressive groups. BIG MISTAKE. I discovered in 1985, watching the famous Live Aid gig on TV at the time, that Freddie Mercury had more charisma in his little finger than all the other famous acts put together, and he knew it, too! The moral of this little story: if you have a chance to see living legends, even if you're not a convert to their particular 'genre', then GO. You folks on this site already know it, but tell this to your friends: Satriani and Vai are such legends, in a genre that, if you're not already well into it, will probably give you a permanent headache. Go anyway!

leninsbeard
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Tue Jun 29 '04
3:40 am

Well, what can I say? Wow. G3 at Birmingham was amazing. My first G3 attendance, and it wont be the last By booking the third second after the tickets came out, I managed to get a seat on the third row back, dead centre. Yes, to anyone close, I was that one sole person who stood up for most of the gig, and shouted for the rest of it. Fripp was odd to me – from DVD’s and what I’ve heard of the legendary G3, I wasn’t expecting progrock ambience with a full light show and tape delay…. I enjoyed it, but I have to admit I thought it was a warm up act. Vai was amazing. Truly incredible. I think that’s enough said really…. Except one thing. Close to the stage, people in the front rows could see the three-neck getting tuned, and the cheer there was when we just SAW that guitar told how much the crowd was waiting for Vai. Mr Satriani, Sir, you were frankly mind blowing. “is there love in space?” was amazing….

Wow.

The jam was fantastic. I was the nutter screaming “play rocking in the free world!” and then when the guys did…. Wow. My mates and me were those guys jumping up and down and shouting, “keep on rocking!”. Highlight of the night for me was being spotted by Joe, and him pointing at me because I seemed to be the only one cheering…all the way through.

The one disappointment was the audience… what happened? Was it just me and my friends cheering?

vishnu on guitar
(Paul Freeman)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Tue Jun 29 '04
1:39 am

G3 on saturday rocked. It was the first G3 i have been to, and is definitly not my last. started off with Robert Fripp, i was dissapointed with it as it was very samey and after half an hour it became annoying. Steve Vai then came on with his triple necked Ibanez, that was a real top act, he rocked! Satriani, you were amazing with the songs you played, it was not the best set list and i found that the loudness and distortion did not let me hear your true skills. Also the food stalls were not bad, the hotdog i eaten had a massive pile of sauce at the bottom, but still tasted delicious. Overall i really enjoyed the show and cant wait till the next.

Paul Freeman.

Marky Boy Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Mon Jun 28 '04
1:44 pm
This was Satch show number six for me but my first G3 show! First I have to say the venue itself deserves a mention I thought it was great! Fripp I thought was interesting and given the right environment his soundscapes would realy work but at this show the length and mood of his stuff didnt always. That said the parts of the crowd were not respectful of him during his set and that to me shows real ignorance. Vai was next and its been over ten years since I saw him last. I have to say the band he has now realy blew me away. I know Vai likes to regulary change his line up but I hope he keeps this band toegther for as long as possible. The songs were played to perfection! My only real criticisism was that all of the songs on the G3 DVD were played and the begining (although amazing) was exactly the same as the DVD something a little different would have been nice. I look foward to seeing Vai solo soon! The headline act was next! Satch never fails to amaze me in his live playing and tonight he certainly did not dissapoint. The mix of songs was perfect and I was so chuffed to hear so much of the the new CD! I just hope he manages to get back over to the UK for a solo tour soon and and a two hour plus show! Something which did get me a bit was the crowds lack of involvement in the show. I was fourth row from the front and I can honestly say I have never seen such a static bunch of people. The front row did not deserve to have the tickets because they simply did not move. I know people were sitting down and that was more down to the security rather than the crowd but it was like I was behind rows of cardboard cut-outs. I have to say I was quite embarrassed because they didnt seem to appreciate what they were part of! On a much more positive note the G3 jam was a perfect end to a truly memorable show. I thought it was great idea to play one song from each player and it worked realy well. Rockin In A Free World ended the show, a ten minute mind blower!. I felt it a true honour to witness Satch and Vai playing together and there interaction on stage was something only friends of so many years can have. IT ROCKED! Joe please come back with a solo tour again very soon. We ALL need more SATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Doktor09
(Peter Williams)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Mon Jun 28 '04
1:33 pm

Joe was really cool this night, played loads from the new album, it was nice to hear them live for the first time too. Can`t wait to see joe again and hear the new songs again. This is only the second time i`ve seen joe but man does he deliver. Steve Vai was awesome as well, the pair of them just work so well together i must admit. Since hearing the new stuff live, been listening to the new album every day since and experiencing it again. And to anybody not seen Joe or Steve, please go see them, they rock.

Doktor

Extrasolar Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 8 Posted:
Mon Jun 28 '04
12:51 pm

Excellent performances by Joe and Steve. Never seen Steve Vai live so that was a treat also.

Robert Fripp was first on. Well, I don't know what he was up to but anybody can play guitar synth. Sat in the corner where he couldn't even be seen by the audience on the left. Not a word to the audience. Didn't look up at all and that wasn't because he didn't want to miss a note. At one point I thought that his amp had packed up and it was the backing track I could hear. Don't get me wrong. What he was actually doing was pretty good but to go on doing that same thing for 30 - 45 minutes was a bit much. Seems like he was just experimenting with some new equipment. Most of us in that venue could have done what he was doing. Would have been more suited to a meditation. Somebody actually shouted "get off" at one point and I have to say I agreed. G3 isn't about soundscapes and mood music. It's about showmanship and fantastic guitar playing. Fripp did play well during the G3 set even though his gear packed up somewhere along the way. He IS a good guitarist and has played some great stuff in the past but he just didn't seem like he could be bothered that night. Would be good to see him in a different kind of show though. A bit of a dissapointment tonight though.

Steve Vai. What a guy. Fantastic performance and interaction with both his band and the audience. Was a real joy to watch. Where they played on each others guitars was excellent. Vai chose a good set playing both For The Love Of God and Answers as he always does. He did a great job of waking up the Fripped out audience. Good one.

Last solo act was the great Satriani who played brilliantly as usual and chose a good selection of songs for his set. Would liked to have seen Surfin', Summer Song, and Crush Of Love again but I appreciate there's only so much he could do that night seeing as there were 3 acts and naturally he wanted to play some of his new material. Great performance. Nice to see Matt Bissonette and Jeff Campitelli again.

The venue was better than in 2002 (where Joe played a solo gig at the Acedemy) with it being seated and didn't feel as cramped. All in all it was a good night and I did enjoy myself.

8 / 10. would have been 10 / 10 but -2 for the poor performance by Robert Fripp.

Do please come to the UK again Joe as it is well appreciated. Thankyou.

Blue Dream
(Rebecca Farmer)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Mon Jun 28 '04
2:54 am
What can I say but FANTASTIC! Did anyone else mistake Robert Fripp for a guitar tech??? It was the 3rd time I had seen Joe and yet again...he was amazing. Where was Stu??? It was my 1st time to see Vai and he was absolutely amazing...and what a nice guy! We met him while he was watching the Satch set and he was lovely! Oh well...Bournemouth tonight and I bet that's gonna be just as good if not better!! xxx

h2whoa Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Mon Jun 28 '04
1:12 am

This was literally the most amazing concert I've ever seen. I will never forget that night! The show was excellent, the atmosphere amazing, the music was just superb.

I'm a relative new-comer to the wonders of Joe and his G3 buddies. I was awestruck by the show.

Thank you for one of the greatest experiences of my life!

7ucky
(satnam singh)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
5:09 pm

What can I say? I have seen the G3 tour every time it’s been over here in the UK and they have all been monster but im sorry to say that this gig really did get off to a bad start! I was one of the unfortunate ones to be sat on the upper left tier. 7:30pm arrived and the lights went down to start the show; a pleasurable background lighting display projected accompanied by a keyboard like horrific sound blasting out through the P.A speakers. “Is this an intro tape?” from what us unlucky left tier ticket holders could tell yes but boy were we wrong Robert Fripp was actually on stage performing his half hour set! Oh well half hour had passed and Mr Vai graced the stage with an honorable presence, armed with the triple neck Ibanez he performed the amazing “I know you’re here” with the style and passion we all know too well, an amazing set that sir Vai and his outstanding band never fail to deliver. Billy Sheehan had to be the highlight of the whole night for me Kickass!!! A quick interval and the lights go down for the final set Joe enters the stage opening up with “Gnaahh” It was great to hear Joe open up with something new for a change. The set was very well arranged and put together with a lot of thought. The three song medley was beautiful starting with the title track from the new album “Is there love in space?” This has to be 1 of my many Satch favorites, then War I had never heard this track live before and believe me it rocked! To finally Flying in a blue dream a Satch trademark track!!! Although there are a few things I would like to say, both Vai and Satch sets felt like a handful of songs and not a full length G3 rock out could have been a bit longer I think! Im always taken back whenever Joe performs and its always great to hear the new material live but I would like to see something different from them on the tour next time around maybe rearrange the songs a little so its not all so clinical and studio like sounding. Don’t get me wrong I would still love it if the set didn’t change as Satch could stand up there and play a 4 bar melody and have us all mesmerized but music is there for us to push boundaries and I would love to see what would be the result if they experimented a little! The end jam was way too Short, the least they could have done was brought Billy back out on stage and maybe even Tony, Dave and Galen to make up for any loss of satisfaction to loyal G3 fans, it really did feel like G2 from were I was sitting! I don’t know maybe the whole Left tier thing just ticked me off a bit sorry : ) Keep rockin and I look forward to seeing what you have to offer next time round guys!!

Peace. . . .

P.S. it is a shame Yngwie didn’t join the European leg of the Tour, as much as I would like to respect Robert Fripp as a legend I feel it was unjustifiable that we paid money to see the guy and then couldn’t see him at all lol ! ! See you on the next tour guys!

Lucky. . . . www.hubbonline.com

Brummiedrummie
(Ian Kendray)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 8 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
5:04 pm
Well................. What can i say? After reading the reviews for the previous shows i was dreading Fripp's performance, but frankly the guy's amazing in his own way, as are Joe and Steve. I'm a big Crimson fan and i think he did himself proud. It obviously wasn't everyone's cup of tea, which i totally respect, but he was jeered constantly throughout the performance. It was the first time i've seen Vai, and all i'm gonna say is that it won't be the last. Joe, as usual was out of this world. I love the new album and was really pleased that he chose the best of the best for his set! The G3 jam was great. It was amazing to see them playing together in person! it's one thing to see it on a DVD but it was even better live! Joe, if you read this, did Steve give you the Orpheous Dreamer CD before the show? If not then have a look on the coffee table in his bus cos he's probably using it as a coaster! Oh yeah..... Did anyone remember to take the sound man back to the zoo, or wherever he escaped from?

tractorwill
(william newman)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
4:59 pm
I wanted to say thanks for an outstanding performance.It was quite simply the best concert I have been to.

ianjf
(Ian Finlayson)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
4:23 pm

First time to see a G3 show live!!! Absolutely Amazing!!! Even if it was a bit loud at times, but thats cool too!!!!

Was it a G3 though or a G2??????????

7:30pm Robert Fripp takes to the stage. When I say takes to the stage I really mean hides behind a stack of speakers. All as I could see was the top of a guitar at the best of times. Then he "Played" 30 minutes of the most unpleasant, horrid sounds I have ever had the mispleasure of hearing. Joe/Steve what gives with choosing this guy and allowing him to "Open" your show with such absolute RUBBISH!!!?? I have never in all my life seen an audience as uninterested and restless in a musician as I did the other night... And to think USA had Yngwie, John Patruci, and Eric Johnson!!! At the end of the night for the G3 jam, the guy still never made an appearance, back behind the speakers again!! He didnt even bow at the end of the show with the rest of the musicians!!?!?!? Did this guy even want to be part of the show???

8:00pm The Awesome and "Probably the Greatest Guitarist Ever" Steve Vai came on stage, much to everyones relief. Started with the first song on that 3 necked Ibanez which was unusual to say the least and after Flopps, I mean Fripps opening experiment, unusal was the last thing I wanted to hear. But after that Steve played what has to have been some of the most incredible guitar playing I have ever heard. I have seen Steve play live in Ireland before, but last night he was on Fire!!! That solo section at the end of Reaper between Steve and the Drummer was just out of this world. Words fail me. You cannot rate this guy by listening to CDs or DVDs. Watch him live and you will see what I am talking about... 11 out of 10 for Steve's performance.

Approx 9:30pm Joe comes on stage. I had never seen Joe live before, and have always wanted to as I am a mega fan... But Joe, why leave Ireland out of the European Tour??? I had to trek to B'ham to get a chance to see the show. But not to worry it was all worth it. After Steve's set, It was always going to be hard for Joe to follow what had just been!!! But after a few songs, he really started to get into it. Wow was this set Loud..... I just hope those people sitting in the front row in front of those ground based speakers are ok??? Any of you out there care to comment??? Always with you Always with me was absolutely fantastic. The solo at the end was incredible, I was just lost for words and still cant describe how good that song was. Never heard it that loud before, and I love the louder the better :)

Wasnt the Best G3 Jam I have heard even though Joe and Steve were great. I thought the songs could have been better?? Someone should have said something to Fripp and not allowed him to behave the way he did...

Next time Guys, stop off at Ireland, and Please dont have anyone like Fripp playing as the 3rd G. Keep it in the same style as USA. How about Eric Clapton or Saul Hudson (slash) at some stage????

Keep up the excellent work, and thank you for my Best Concert (And Loudest) Ever........

Ian.

sway1968
(Sharon Murphy)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
12:43 pm

Well went to my first G3 Gig, and can honestly say i was blown away with both Steve and Joe... Booked the tickets as a present for my other half, whom is also a brilliant guitarist and is a big fan of Steve, but i can honestly say im now hooked.

Robert Fripp set was a strange to say the least and yep... ours seat where on the left hand side however i did get to see a bit of his guitar (just) although what the hell he was playing was beyond me.. did feel a little sorry for the Fripp fans (yes there was a few there..).

But thankfully we only had to listen to Frippy for 30 mins or so before the true gig started.. i was left stunned for the rest of the gig and the night was finished with Rocking in the Free World which was just FANTASTIC...

A truely awesome night for all the G3 fans, old new and yes us Virgins too... Well done Guy's hurry up and come back soon... but maybe leaving Fripp to play to his fan base... sorry i know im cruel but the guy just bored me.

lil timmy
(tim douglas)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
12:03 pm
Wow! Wot a nite! I was a G3 virigin before this gig.....and i was not dissapointed in the slightest!....well......i was a little dissapointed....as Joe didn't ask ME to come up on-stage...anyway... I was lookin forward to seeing Robert Fripp, as i had never heard any of his stuff before. Although wierd, and yes, remarkably dull, it did have it's moments of power, and showed me a different way of playing the guitar. If only Fripp were not so prog-tastically arrogant, it would have been so much better!! Vai= God as far as im concerned! His set was just amazing!!!! 1 hour of soulful shred-tastic-bill-and-ted-guitarfest and me and my m8 were screamin!!! Goose-pimples durin whisperin a prayer was the highlight for me! such passion from one long haired axe wielding wierdo! absolute legend! (p.s. - remember audience participation time in vai's set?? yes...i was the one barking! and steve even looked at me!! yay!) Satch was cool too! As fans would have noticed from his recent releases, he has ditched some of the shred-tastic elements of his playing, and seems to stick to perfectly executed melodies and while not the showman vai is, his set was far more solid feeling, and just as enjoyable! Unfortunatly i have to agree that the sound tekkies were a bit behind the pulse, but hey! who cares - it was a great show! The 3-way was a little disappointing for me - as it was really G2. Despite this, Satch and Vai were again on top form, showing how their styles perfectly compliment one another, particularly on RITFW!! it rocked!! If only Fripp would get of his prog-high-horse, and get involved in the show. Tony Macalpine would have been better onstage!! or next time Joe......how about me?? no?.......ok............il stick to barking at steve......:)

surferking Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 5 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
8:22 am
This was my 2nd visit to The NIA and the 3rd time that I have seen Joe live. Many dissapointments with the show though - Robert Fripp was 1st on, and to be honest if some one hadn't said who he actually was, I thought he was one of the stage crew warming up!!! His set was weird, boring, and didn't show off his obvious guitar playing potential, and to be quite frank it was 30 minutes of absolute shit! Next up was Steve Vai, and I had been waiting for a long time to see him play live, and man did he not dissapoint. He was throwing that guitar all over the place, and some of the sounds that were screaming out of it were absolutely unbelievable!!! What an absolute master and a complete joy to listen to. Then it was Joe's turn, and as ever he played some good songs. Some old favourite's of mine(Flying in A Blue Dream, Always With Me and War) were played flawlessly and I really enjoyed listening to them. Joe also played alot of songs from his new album ITLIS which were ok. I have had the new album for quite a few weeks and I had already listened to it alot, so the new songs didn't hold any surprises for me as I had already heard them so many times before!! Some of the sounds were not right and when it came to Joe singing I couldn't hear anything of what he was saying. Poor stage set up perhaps? Not one of the best concerts that I have been to. But watching Steve Vai made the night for me, Robert Fripp was a complete waste of time and Joe your performance, although technically brilliant was spoil by the poor sound quality at times. 11 out of 10 for Steves performance, about a 7 for Joe and as for Robert - I'd be embarassed if I played like that!!!! Rocking In The Free World was good at the end also, and the solo's that each guitarist played on Ice 9 were fantastic!!!!!!!

Mossi Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
7:40 am
The show was somewhere in space last night out of this world amazing. Joe really does listen to the fans comments. He was electric, He really doesnt act his age at all, you are the greatest! Great stage presence-to be honest with you guys, Satch stood out more than Vai as he was running wild and diving off the drums, back flips, hand stands well not quite backflips and handstands but he was getting there, Fantastic new songs they where awesome loved every single one, the songs are so much better live however the album is mind blowing so its hard to imagine, I really liked Up In Flames, I Like The Rain from Joe, However Steve was so ace with the axe-crobatics, i also got to meet Steve oh and Billy they both really care for there fans and makes the experience unforgettable thanks(im not saying the others dont), Steve your set and the band (You, Billy, Tony, Dave, Jeremy) are so active and energetic that you brought some sort of energy into the arena i cant explain the atmosphere well i could "unexplainable"!! i thought it would be a hard one to beat for joe but he carried it on perfectly with ease. Now to That 3rd G Fripp he was'nt as bad as i was expecting and think joe has made a good decision as fripp works well with Satch's new songs as he played on a couple, allsorts was played from the slow of the slow to the fast of the INSANE, wicked show get your selfs to a G3 its not to be missed. The Jam was so lively that little bit of fripps widdle was very impressive and theres no question about joe and steve's performance 11/10 as always thanks guys keep it up!

Michael Finlay Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
7:02 am
What can I say, another breath taking gig by the guitar legends After witnessing Joe and Steve live for 14 years they are still the masters in their class. I had not seen Robert Fripp before and was not sure what to expect after reading the reviews but hey, I was willing to find out. Although he was not my cup of tea, he was original and played well. Unfortunately as already mentioned below, some so called music fans decided to heckle Robert and then boo him at the end of the gig. I was appalled as I have never been to a gig and heard this before. I think those peopled should go back into their cave and continue listening to the wooden pop music they obviously normally listen to. Special thanks goes to Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan who came outside before the gig to chat to the fans waiting by the back entrance and sign autographs and take pictures. PS. No disrespect towards Matt but Joe, please bring back Stu Hamm, he is the second coming in bass players, where are you Stu !!!!!!!!. PPS. Paul Gilbert for the next G3.

kev555
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 9 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
6:26 am

Does anyone have any pictures from this show that they are willing to post on the board, or if not email some out.

I was at the show and took my camera but i kept getting told off by security for using it , whilst fans further back had nothing said to them. Double standards if you ask me.

Cheers

Kev

Nitefly_Rob
(Rob Allen)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
5:30 am
Well what can I say that hasn't already been said - last night was AMAZING! Just before the show started, I noticed Robert Fripp sitting on his stool as he does every night, drawing on the atmosphere in the arena, which I have to say was electric. His set was one of the strangest and yet at the same time, interesting thigs that I've heard in a long time... I was getting rather annoying with the idiots who were booing and yelling... but hey - not everyone has the common decency to respect an internationally aclaimed recording artist do they?? Oh well... So next came Steve Vai with that triple neck Jem that he's been using for a while now - what a guitar!! Thomas Nordig (sp?), his guitar tech was running around like a mad man with tape and wires for a little while but then everything seemed to settle in a get going!! Did anyone else notice the 2 or 3 dud-notes that Steve hit during that opening number?? Proves he's human!! Slightly changing the subject... has anyone seem the 'Live at the London Astoria' DVD of Steve's... well in it, the camera man spends of lot of time focusing on two pretty young ladies on the front row (U.R.A.Q.T! on the DVD!) - they were sat just in front and to the right of me... clearly follow the man around the country!! Coo!! Joe's set was the most incredible thing I've ever seen - the volume was perfect - the balance was perfect... it was just incredible!! I'm a little bit annoyed with myself in that I forgot my camera - from where I was sat - centre stage - 6 or 7 rows back, I'd had got some amazing pictures!! But nevermind... the 11 t-shirts and lithograph should make up for that!! The crowd seemed to have cooled a little bit during the interval and it took Joe a couple of minutes to warm them back up... but wow... the man is simply the greatest guitarist ever... that's all I can say... he's THE MAN! The Jam was superb... just too short!! Robert Fripp proved he can take it to the best of them when he let loose during a couple of the numbers but he was slightly over-run by the sheer power and volume of Joe and Steve... I think that Joe must have taken a tip from the guys in Spinal Tap... his amps don't go up to 10... the go to INFINITY!! Anyway, thanks Joe for the best night of my life... ever!! I took my girlfriend who's not too familiar with your music and she was amazed!! Only thing is, now she wants me to shave my head!!

crushingday62
(chris woodland)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 8 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
5:02 am

last nites g3 show was awsume!!!! was a lil dissapointed wid fripp but totaly agree that booing him was wrong. i was happy to sit and listen and marvel at some of the stuff he was doing but the atmosphere of the audience killed it.

vai as usual was sh** hot!!! his stage presence and interaction within the band is unreal. when tony,steve,billy and dave were all playing each others guiitars in a line it was amazing!!!

first satch gig and oh my god it was everything and more that i had ever dreamed!! i cudnt wait to hear the whammy pedal solo in searching and when it blasted thru the arena i had shivers goin down my spine. that song is huge!!

the jam was cool. was lil dissapointed fripp dint stand up and his lead fell out during his solo in ice 9 but hey shit happens!! when satch and vai started played a solo in rocking a free world i had to pinch myslelf to relaise that joe was playing the same as steve but slighlty after which created and awsume delay effect!!!

just got my limited edition poster framed today looks wicked backed wid satch and vai cd covers. is number 247/750!! just wondering if that 750 a show or the whole tour?

best nite ever!! thanks so much joe for doing a european leg its made my year/decade/life :)

crystal1
(Rachael Farmer)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
3:57 am
Yet another amazing show! As expected, the individual sets were awesome. Joe and Steve really have fantastic bands - although I still miss Stu! And it seems like Weiner is getting a bit of a following of his own - not only was his cd completely sold out at the merch stand before the show, but I could hear chants of 'Weiner Weiner' during the introductions. Joe came out and ripped his way through a blinding set before being joined onstage by Fripp and Vai. I needed someone to pinch me in the jam - I thought I'd strayed into a dream - my two favourite geetar players on one stage - looking as though they're loving every minute of it! This tour really is loadsa fun!

Sam_at2001
(Sam Johnson)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
3:09 am

Well I've had a night to recover but I'm still in awe...this was without a doubt the greatest concert I have ever been to in my life.

First on was Robert Fripp. After reading all of the reviews on here I was a little worried about what his music was going to be like but I was still looking forward to it as I had never heard any of his stuff before. I have to say I was disappointed with Fripp...it's difficult to explain what he sounds like but it doesn't sound anything like a guitar. It's all synth-type music. This is great when backing up Joe in his set, but 30 minutes of this got repetetive really fast. I did try really hard to enjoy this, and I did for the first 5 minutes, but Fripp was just sitting on a stall to the back of the left hand side of the stage - and because we were sitting on the opposite side we could only see his head. I know a lot of people have said it, but I thought it was a sound-tech guy at first lol. Thankfully he didn't get too many boos but he did get a few...he got a few cheers though so that was good. While I didn't particularly like the music, I didn't think he deserved to get any boos at all because this is just uncool.

After Robert Fripp went off, Steve came out and got a great reception. He came skipping on the stage, bowing and waving and was handed the triple neck by Thomas Nordegg. This was amazing - I've heard the piece on the DVD but you have to experience it live to fully get it. It was one of the highlights of the set, and as it gets to it's climax, all the band members started coming out and people went mad. His singing was top notch too. Giant balls of gold was amazing - really heavy and really loud! He did the aerobic-type thing with the guitar at the end and I couldn't stop laughing. Then he started to tongue the guitar which people were going mad at - it was this point also that I realised just how amazing Billy Sheehan is on the bass - I've watched the London DVD and G3 DVD but watching him in the flesh is just out of this world.

Next up was answers which turned into The Reaper. I did like Answers but I was hoping that Steve would do the crazy tapping thing from the first G3 - that would have stole the show for me because whenever I hear Answers I always think of that, but unfortunatley he didn't. He turned it into the Reaper which was brilliant - my friend who didn't really know much Steve Vai stuff said he loved this song and the next thing he wanted to do was buy a whammy pedal. It really was amazing and he pulled it off so well. After that, Steve went into Juice which was incredible...Tony and Dave didn't play on this one but it sounded like 3 guitars...everybody knows how technical Juice is and it's amazing how Steve can play it so perfectly live and make it sound so good.

After this, Steve went into Whispering a Prayer which was probably my favourite song of Steves set. It sounds amazing live...just how the hell does he get the guitar to sound like that? It was definatley one of the best songs of the night and everybody loved it. After that, he played Bangkok/Bullwhip into Get the hell out of here. The Fire Garden Suite is my favourite song of Steves' so it was great to hear Bangkok/Bullwhip, but Get the Hell out of here was just insane. You can probably guess the best part was when they were all together on stage playing each others guitars...it just sounded and looked so good...this song shows how amazing Tony Macalpine is too.

Finally Steve played For the Love of God with the alternative opening. Tony played the first few bars on the piano and people were going nuts...and it built up into the form we all know and love. It was great, but was it just me or was it slower than it usually is? It didn't take it away from the song - Steve nailed every solo and it sounded amazing. The tonguing the guitar just made people freak - my friend, who loved Petrucci and Satch, said that the amazing thing about Vai is that he makes so many weird sounds that are just impossible to imitate and work out. With someone like Petrucci or Satch, you can play what they play if you had enough skill or whatever, but with Vai he just does the most weird things (those were his words not mine :P ) Overall, I wasn't disappointed by Steve at all...he is probably the greatest showman on the guitar today and just blew me away.

After a 15 minute interval, Robert Fripp came out again and sat on his stall. He played his synth-stuff for about a minute but this time it was building up to Joe. Joe came out like he usually does...building up to the first major chord in the dark and he ripped into Hands in the Air - which was one of my favourite songs of the night. First, I should just say that the new amp is killer - it's much better than the G3 dvd and us die-hard Satch fans need not worry that he is losing his tone :) People were going beserk - I think there were probably more Satch fans than Vai fans as he was getting the most cheers. Satch Boogie probably got the loudest cheer of the night - it was a killer version of it and the tone is just spot on. Joe spoke for a minute or so before going into Cool #9 - one of my favourites. Again, Joe played this to perfection as he usually does. The introduction, which is different everytime he plays it, was just plain brilliant - great use of the whammy bar and there was definatley a groove going on throughout the whole song.

Next up was Gnaahh from the new album. This song was good but sounded quite noticably different to the album - probably because theres 7 guitar tracks on the album instead of just 2 live. He nailed the solo though and he just performed like a machine. After this he played 'I like the Rain'. I didn't like the album version of this song because I thought Joes voice sounded terrible - way too much distortion. The live version was superb though - the 'Rockin in the Free World' type voice really suited it and I hope this is going to be a tour-regular from now on. I just found it really funny how it sounds so much better live than on the album. Jeff's drum solo at the end was wicked as well, I just wish he would let himself go a bit during some other songs because we all know how amazing he is. Joe then said he was going to 'heat this place up' with 'Up in Flames' which went down really well. There was a flame-type thing playing in the background and funnily enough, it did feel hotter...even though it was really hot to begin with. My mums favourite came on next (although she wasn't with us) - Always with me, Always with you. Again, I was amazed at how Joe can play something and not hit a single wrong note at all...I was just in awe and people started to cheer during the tapping bit near the end. The outro to this was awesome as well - I was worried that it would take away slightly from the song but it just sounds so clean and precise that it sounds like its part of the song.

The next song was my favourite off of 'Is there love in Space?' and one of my favourites tonight - Searching. The whammy bar just sounds perfect and the really weird bit at around 2:10(I think) sounds perfect too :shock: I thought this would have been something impossible to recreate live, but you can see Joe fiddling around with the effects and it just sounds unreal. Finally, Joe played Is there love in Space, War and Flying in a blue Dream - all running into each other. It was great to hear War played live because its a great song, and Is there Love in Space sounds good live too but Flying in a blue dream just blew them both away. Again, he played it absolutely note perfect and I was just in awe throughout most of the song - and most of the show too.

The G3 jam came on next, and I agree with most people in that it's really a G2 jam as Robert Fripp just sits at the back on a stall playing. Ice 9 was killer...Steve ripped through this song like it was his own, and during Roberts solo, I think his lead fell out so Joe had to carry it on for him. Joe played the solo from the cd - it just looked really weird having Joe play one of his songs with Steve on rhythm guitar - hows that for a dream band? :D After that was 'Red' which I didn't really enjoy to be honest. The solos were good but because I didn't know the song, I found it quite hard to follow it - I thought it was probably the weakest of the 4 jam songs. The murder was good - with Steve doing his guitar aerobatics again getting feedback from the monitors, and this blended into Rockin in the Free World, which was probably the best song of the night. Joes voice suits this song so well in my opinion, and the solos just sound great. Steve and Matt were both singing as well and it was great to see them really getting into it.

After the show had finished, it was time for the aftershow :D After a slight problem with the passes, both my friend, Alex and I managed to get backstage without a problem. There, we waited anxiously with about 20 other people for the crew to come backstage. Steve was first out, followed by Joe. Although I did manage to get a picture with Steve, I didn't manage to get his autograph or say much to him - he was just about to go by the time that I got hold of him and I think he had a pretty bad cold. But he was really nice in that he didn't mind posing for pictures, signing things etc. Before Steve, I managed to talk to, and get a picture with Tony Macalpine. I told him how awesome I thought he was and he gladly had pictures taken with him. I also got to speak with Billy Sheehan - who is just crazy lol. He's completely mad on the DVD commentary and hes just the same in real life. He signed my ticket and I got a picture with him too. Then I got to speak with the man - Joe. I was just completely in awe with him - we were talking about methods in learning all the chords and I told him how much I loved the new album. He signed my ticket, trem-cover and book as well. I also talked briefly with Dave Weiner who's really cool - he had a little fan base and was chatting away like it was his concert.

All in all, it was one hell of a show. I was worried after seeing Steve that Joe couldn't possibly match the show that he put on, but he did...while I don't really want to say one was better than the other, both were just completely awesome. Steve had the stage presence, but Joe had a groove on which everybody was feeling - I was just really suprised at how active Joe was on stage. A lot of people think that Joe isn't very active on stage but he was just as crazy as Steve tonight - jumping around, running around while still playing perfectly. This really suprised me, as after watching the live in San Francisco dvd I thought it would have been just guitar playing. Joe is also so down to earth it's unreal. Neither he or Steve (or any of the band for that matter) are big-headed at all, and they are really nice guys. I was really suprised at how short Joe was to be honest...he looks so tall from pictures and videos, but I suppose it's hard to tell in real life. Also, I thought Steve was a giant but he's only about 6 foot himself - he looks really tall on the dvds which I suppose is partly due to his massive hands.

Sorry for the realllllly long review but I just wanted to share one of the greatest nights of my life with everybody else. (and I bought a T-shirt too - yay!)

Just a couple of things i need to say at the end - Joes new stuff sounds incredible Joes new amps sound incredible Joe is the best guitarist in the world :-)

richo Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
2:49 am
Hey Satch fans what an fantastic night G3 was real first class Robert, steve, Joe played beyond my expectation once again, the atmosphere was electric a much more powerful gig than Manchester the sound was spot on. Truly magnificent night. IF THERES ANYONE THING YOU WANT TO DO IN LIFE IT MUST BE TO ATTEND A G3 YOU WILL BE BLOWN AWAY. Thank guys for make such wonderful music, Joe warned you about the rain an appropriate song " I Like The Rain" great to hear your vocals being tested. only problem was security they stopped the fans from going up front never mind you can't always get what you want. Thanks once again for such a great night. See you soon Joe all the best...Richo....Jeff don't forget if you get chance send me your spec, and Matt & Galen for my site. thanks

jamesp Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
2:08 am
Went last night to see G3'04, only 3 words can describe it, breathtaking, amazing and mindblowing. The best gig i've been to in my life so far, keep up the good work guys and I hope to see ya come back to the U.K soon for another tour!

Robin Petrucci
(Robin Petrucci)
Sat Jun 26 '04
NIA Academy
Birmingham, England, GB
Rank: 10 Posted:
Sun Jun 27 '04
1:19 am

Well, I did wonder whether all the guys who reviewed the earlier shows on this tour had been joking about Robert Fripp, and that in fact he was going to storm on stage and blow us away....but no. He came on, sat down in a corner and played "mood music" for 30 minutes. We were 5 rows from the front in the middle so at least we could see him, but who knows what all the folks on the left side of the arena must have thought. Seemed like a good time to go to the bar and when I came back after 10 minutes, it seems that surprisingly, I hadn't missed anything.

And then he was gone, and on walked Steve. But NO, what's this?, he too sat down. I worried he might have caught Fripp-itis, but all was well. He was handed his triple neck and off he went, soon to be joined by the band including Billy Sheehan. The last time I saw Steve, and Billy, was with the Dave Lee Roth Band back in 1988, when I saw them 3 times that year, and each time, Steve blew me away with his playing. And he did it again tonight. I didn't know any of the songs, but no problem. Class shines through. The band were excellent too, especially where the 4 guitarists were jamming on eachothers instruments. One hour passed by in what seemed like 10 minutes. What a joy. Superb.

Then Satch hit the stage. First off, it was great to see him back at the NIA, after he played the Academy in 2002, the worst venue in the UK. Joe is one of few, if not the only, guitarist who could follow Steve Vai on stage. He was, as always, awesome. He just makes the hardest things look so easy and natural. As ever, the band were a bit "out of the action", although with Matt Bissonette there, it was like an ex DL Roth members reunion. "Always with...." was the highlight for me. Beautifully played, as were the songs off the new, excellent, album. Excellent sound too, from where we were sat. Loud, but nice and clear, apart from the bass intruding occasionally. Too soon Satch's set was over and on came G3 for the final part.

Ice 9 and a Fripp solo! until half way through when he stopped and stood up. Either he had a problem with his gear or the kettle had boiled for his cocoa. KC's Red followed, with Frippo having a spotlight on his guitar, but never did actually see his face. Then "Rockin" and they were gone. 3 and 1/2 hours passed in what seemed like 30 minutes. For everyone yet to see the show, watch Fripp with a smile and a drink in your hand and prepare to be blown away by Steve and Satch.

Frippo, you may even be some sort of genius, but I don't get the hiding on stage thing, sorry. Steve, you are a cool guy and brought back happy memories and I will be sure to see you on your next tour. Satch, as ever, the BEST. A PRIVILEGE to see you again, please come back soon.


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