Sound: When you go to see Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Robert Fripp you expect the sound to be absolutely perfect as they are the best guitarists in the world and I cannot forgive them for what they did to my ears and their own sound. I know its a rock concert and it's supposed to be loud, but theres a difference between very loud and uncomfortably loud. My ears where killing me!
This wasnt the only problem as the massive volume caused the guitar sounds to distort and lose all clarity. Fripp was ok as he was the only player, but Vai's full band includes 3 guitarists of which one doubles as keyboardist, a bassist and a drummer. So many instruments playing at once caused the sound to get very messy especially during the first song where Steve plays his triple neck guitar. You could almost say there were 5 guitarists playing. Horrible. And such a shame as the song is a very emotional classic. Also, Steve is the focal point of the band but 'how loud do you want it Stevie?' Every time Steve played he drowned out the other band members! Especially bassist Billy Sheehan whos EQ was terrible. Talk about complete lack of bottom and middle!
After that I had high hopes that Joe, being Joe, was smarter than this. How wrong I was again too loud. Although Joe was quite short of Steves volume and his band is smaller so I enjoyed HIM alot more. His clarity was better but when you go to see these guys you want to hear every note of every solo and chord but at this volume the distortion that follows makes every note slide and drift into the next one causing a slide of notes that are impossible to take in at the speed Joe plays.
You could be wondering how on earth this show even merited a 2 but I have to say that Joes rendition of 'Is There Love In Space?' almost made me weep. The wah-pedal effect on this song, being a slow emotional one, was SO good and SO touching. The same goes for the section in 'Searching' where Joe plays the sequence with his octave whammy pedal. Magical. // 4
Perfomance: Robert Fripp - Interesting to say the least. Some people didn't approve (Does not play according to traditional setlist.)
Steve Vai - Great setlist and stage performance. Shame about the sound!
01. I Know You're Here: fantastic song but very messy and distorted re volume.
02. Giant Balls Of Gold: brilliant song and a good performance.
03. Answers: EQ was awful but played to the crowd well.
04. Reaper: best of the set. The drummer is a maniac! good fun.
05. Juice: great song. Great playing. Nothing out of the ordinary.
06. Whispering A Prayer: fantastic! Up there with reaper. emotional.
07. Bangkok/bullwhip: great stage performance. All playing eachothers guitars!
08. Get The Hell Out Of Here: good fun. Steve interacts well with the crowd.
09. For The Love Of God: good performance and good end to great set.
Joe Satriani - Best of the three. Bounced around like a young'un again!
01. Hands In The Air: good opener. Got the crowd dancing. Great licks.
02. Satch Boogie: messy at times but flawless performance. Amazing.
03. Cool #9: got the crowd involved well on this one.
04. Gnaahh: sounds so different to cd version but good performance again!
05. I Like The Rain: got the crowd into it. Sing along moment.
06. Up In Flames: classic Joe. Bounced around like he was 20!
07. Always With Me, Always With You: fantastic. Great jam at the end.
08. Searching: unbelievable he was able to get all the effects in this!
09. Is There Love In Space: highlight of the entire night. Unforgettable.
10. War: great inclusion to the set. Headbanging!
11. Flying In A Blue Dream: a classic to finish off. Another good performance.
01. Ice 9 - Joe Satriani, extended and they all got a solo spot. Very nice.
02. Red - King Crimson, good to hear some old stuff. Took me back a bit!
03. The Murder - Steve Vai, not the best choice. Poor.
04. Rockin' In The Free World - Pearl Jam, sing along session. Great finale.
A wonderful performance from Steve Vai as usual. He interacts with the crowd so well! And a vintage Joe gig made up somewhat for the non-existence of Fripp! He just sat in a corner and played so half the crowd couldn't even see HIM! Not a good start. Steve was gracious, controlled and lively as were his band. Joe was Joe. He resembles a chipmonk somewhat! Small, furry and bouncing! A fantastic night and great setlists full of classics and newbies. Great. // 10
Overall Impression: G3 Europe 2004 - Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Robert Fripp - BIC Hall, Bournemouth - 27/6/04. The gig was a worthwhile trip with some fantastic guitar playing as expected. A real shame the sound quality was so bad and so loud! The guy Who turned the volume nobs should be shot and buried. The performances of Steve and Joe made up for this tremendously and climbed this gig up the ladder to a respectable overall impression of 4/5. My ears are still ringing! // 8