Guitarist Joe Satriani began the G3 tours over twenty years ago and since its inception the legendary guitar player has invited two other highly regarded rock guitarists to play each tour with him. The artists each have their own set to showcase their solo talents before coming together at the end of the concert to jam for a few songs. This entire style of show works really well. To keep the tours fresh and the audiences wondering the lineup of artists changes each tour. This year’s lineup includes G3 veteran John Petrucci of Dream Theater and first-timer Phil Collen of Def Leppard.
First up was Phil Collen’s band Delta Deep. They played a great set of blues-rock songs. Debbi Blackwell-Cook, Collen’s bandmate and blues singer gave a wonderful range pushing performance belting out the blues. At one point her and Collen battled voice and guitar pitting her multi range voice against his guitar from the deepest baritone to high soprano. Collen’s guitar and her voice add such a soulful sound to the music.
Joining Collen and Blackwell-Cook was Grammy Award winner Forrest Robinson on drums and Robert DeLeo on bass. Their set included Delta Deep’s “Mistreated” and “Down in the Delta.” These cuts off the newly released “East Coast Live” album were rolled out with a great reception by the audience. Delta Deep and their blues sound was a hit with the crowd.
Quadrant 4 (Billy Cobham cover)
Bless These Blues
Down in the Delta
John Petrucci’s set began with the lights dimmed to a deep dark blue and the bass notes started a somber reverberation through the theater. The founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater performed “Wrath of the Amazons” and “Jaws of Life.” Both songs were in the heavy metal genre he is best known for. He laughed after those songs and said “Someone has to bring the heavy metal.”
Following those songs Petrucci who was backed by Dave LaRue on bass and Mike Mangini on drums lightened the mood by launching into “The Happy Song.” That was followed by “Glasgow Kiss” also a lighter tune from his Suspended Animation album Then it was back on to his heavier music metal riffs that he is best known for. His playing was spot on and during “Damage Control” he showed his expert alternate picking technique that is difficult to master but Petrucci makes look effortless.
Wrath of the Amazons
Jaws of Life
The Happy Song
Joe Satriani finished out the trio taking the stage with his chrome guitar. Starting off the set with energy he played with passion and excitement moving from side to side of the stage. He even crouched down at one point and played with his teeth. His popular songs “Satch Boogie,” “Always With Me, Always With You,” were done perfectly and the master at solos made his guitar scream and moan.
While “Surfing With the Alien,” was played a screen projected behind the band animations of the Silver Surfer. Satriani’s excitement, animation and endless energy were infectious throughout his performance. He had the crowd on their feet clapping and shouting.
I particularly liked “Cherry Blossoms,” off his newly released 16th album “What Happens Next.” This was followed by “Thunder High on the Mountain.” He then rolled right into “Super Funky Badass” also from “What Happens Next.” If Satraini is growing older he is hiding it well because he looked like a 20 something rocker with his full range of facial expressions as he coaxed every whine and scream out of his guitar. It’s like his guitar is just an extension of his arms and part of his being.
Satriani is an amazing guitarist and his set flew by in a flurry of wailing guitars and drums leaving the audience wanting more. His band with Mike Keneally on keyboards/guitar, Bryan Beller on bass and Joe Travers on drums was a fantastic accompaniment to Satraini. At one point the drummer Joe Travers did an awesome solo that had the crowd cheering and stomping for more. A grand performance by the legend Satriani and his band.
Thunder High on the Mountain
Super Funky Badass
Always With Me, Always With You
After Satriani’s band concluded their set Petrucci, Collen and Blackwell-Cook joined him on the stage and jammed together. The three played “Highway Star” by Deep Purple, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and “Going Down” by The Alabama State Troupers.
Highway Star (Deep Purple song)
Superstition (Stevie Wonder cover)
Going Down (The Alabama State Troupers cover)
The evening was great and the crowd enthusiastic and rose for ovations numerous times during the show in appreciation. I haven’t seen a G3 tour before and the unique presentation was refreshing. I would definitely see a G3 show again. Joe Satriani and his G3 tours is something any guitar enthusiasts or fan of great music should see. The G3 2018 tour will continue this year in both the USA and Europe though June. If you get the chance don’t miss it.
More information on the G3 Tour and each individual artist:
What Happens Next was recorded with a remarkable power trio: Satriani on guitar, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Black Country Communion) on bass and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), the latter reuniting with Satriani for the first time since their work in the supergroup Chickenfoot.
If you can’t catch Satriani in Wallingford he will also be appearing in Boston on February, 15 at the Orpheum Theatre.
Check back in with New England Rock Review for a complete review and photos from this Thursday’s show at the Oakdale Theater.
This hot August night was extra steamy with the arrival of smokin’ Joe Bonamassa and his blues-rock performance at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT. He was classily dressed in his now signature suit, cool shades and slicked back hair.
Bonamassa noted that he had played at the Oakdale theater in the round 27 years ago when he opened for B.B. King as a young upcoming and obviously talented blues guitarist. He was at the time only 13 years old. Though he admitted the when and where he was eluded him until reminded by a stagehand just exactly why he remember the place, there was a déjà vu moment when he arrived at the venue.
The night started out with gritty sound of “This Train” to warm the audience up for “Mountain Climbing”.
Bonamassa crooned out “Blues of Desperation” off the album of the same name which debuted a #8 of Billboards top 200. He played cuts off this fantastic album including the searing, slashing jam on “No Good Place For the Lonely” that left the audience cheering.
A master at changing up the pace he slid into the heartbreaking and soulful “Breaking Up Someone’s Home
” On “Boogie with Stu”, a Led Zeppelin cover, Reese Wynans got a chance to shine on the keyboard.
The instrumental “Black Winter/Django” was seven and a half minutes of pure showman with riffs and hand movements that were so intricate they memorized the crowd. He finished the song motioning the audience to raise out of their seats. Those who weren’t already standing rose up and continued to stand right though a stirring rendition of Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times” and into the stomping cries for an encore.
They finished up the night with a tribute to B.B King and a rendition of his “Hummingbird”
At the age of 40 he has a longstanding career and has accompanied some the guitar greats of our age. He played with Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and too many others to name. Mentored by Danny Gatton in his youth and introduced to the stage since his early years, he is now touring worldwide to sold out houses. Bonamassa’s name has become one of the most recognizable names in the blues scene and he has earned his place among the greats by paying his dues over time.
Bonamassa has topped the all artists by having 15 #1 Billboard Blues Albums. Funny thing about the blues. It seems if you don’t suffer the blues you’re not taken as seriously. Bonamassa did not have to suffer much of the low down, down and out life of the early blues masters like the 3 Kings (BB King, Albert King and Freddie King) he admired and even did a tribute tour in honor of, but he has all the feeling and style that makes a truly memorable blues guitarist stand out.
This year’s touring show includes a horn section consisting of Lee Thornburg playing trumpet and Paulie Cerra on saxaphone. Anton Figs was on drums and bassist Michael Rhodes. The three women vocalists all hail from Australia. Juanita Tippins, Mahalia Barnes and Jade Macrae gave a soulful, deep performance. Each woman is a standout singer but together they were wonderful and rounded out the band perfectly, especially on “Slow Train” which showcased each in a solo.
Bonamassa’s baritone resounded throughout the hall as he seared through a mix of his own music and a intermingling of covers from other great artists that he gave his own distinct flavor. He has already made his mark in the blues world and I hope he will continue to entertain for many decades to come. It was a great performance by the entire band and I hope he does not wait 27 more years before he revisits the Oakdale Theater again.
If you get a chance don’t miss his show. This is a guitarist everyone should see at least once. But, if you do see Bonamassa once will not be enough.
Bonamassa’s band members:
Anton Fig – Drums
Reese Wynans – Keyboards
Lee Thornburg – Trumpet