Always a top-notch show with Joe and company! Paul Gilbert was a sensational opener - so animated, talented, humble, and energized. Paul thanked all of us for "employing" them. Actually, we're so thankful to have you superbly gifted guitarists who sweat and slave for your passion and love of music you share worldwide through all your touring, guitar clinics, and meet & greets.
Paul had played a sampling from his latest album" Get Outta My Yard" and a few nostalgic tunes like "Green-Tinted Sixties Mind" that were so head-bobbin' catchy. And man, Paul can sing! He should've fronted Mr. Big along with Eric Martin. What was also really cool was seeing how Paul was having a blast too. It was awesome to see that Bruce is also a great shredder and that Paul's bass player has a fantastic set of vocals as well.
Because of a Meet & Greet Joe graced us in Sacramento last March, we met an avid Satch and Petrucci fan who had introduced us to more selections from Petrucci's latest album "Suspended Animation" and "An Evening with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess". (Thanks Scott!) Because of our familiarity with the songs, we just rocked out to John's set and was in awe of seeing how drummer Mike Portnoy was just flinging and catching drumsticks without missing a beat. Another amazing thing is how Mike had a conversation with John while both were performing. What could you guys be discussing? What to do after the gig?
Of course, Joe and gang were perfectionists as always. They played to the 9's, as in Cool #9 and Ice #9 and other crowd favorites. Joe wanted to make sure everyone was recognized and we agree with Joe that Dave LaRue had the hardest job playing bass for 2 bands for 3 of the 4-hour show. Because of the technical difficulties, Dave ended up playing "air bass" for the first few minutes like Petrucci said, but John and Mike improvised nicely. Joe also joked how Galen Hensen didn't pay the lighting guy, so that's why he's not in the spotlight much. (So Galen, pay up.) Anyway, Joe aims to please, and he never disappoints audibly and visually. The sound was perfection. I also really appreciate that this venue allowed cameras (or is it up to the artists?) as I can have memories forever in print. Thank you all for putting on such a great show (and finishing in the nick of time so we could catch the last BART train out of the city.)
Oh, and one more thing. Please film this tour for DVD! I just bought Satriani Live! DVD and CD, Petrucci's latest, will check out Gilbert's CD and am hankering for more, as always.