Sound — 8
Regardless of whether you think his music delivers the proper emotional content, Joe Satriani has proven time after time that his technical chops are among the best in the business. Even his Chickenfoot bandmates (specifically the ex-Van Halen gang) have indicated that while Eddie Van Halen may be a master musician, Satriani can pretty much play anything you put in front of him. The man is also no stranger to live albums and/or DVDs, so it's always interesting to see how Satch will top himself. As expected, his latest release Live In Paris: I Just Wanna Rock features no shortage of his trademark virtuosity, but unfortunately it gets mired in an editing nightmare. For those fans who relish any release studio or live from Satriani, it would be recommended to purchase the CD version of I Just Wanna Rock. In many ways it acts as a best-of glimpse at Satriani's career, and the audio mix is top-notch. Included in the over two-hours worth of material are the grooving Diddle-Y-A-Doo-Dat, the tap-happy Satch Boogie, the sleek Flying In A Blue Dream, and Ghosts, which is driven by a haunting Middle-Eastern flavor. There's enough stylistic variety within the 22 songs that boredom is never an issue. A few of the standout tracks aren't necessarily studio-album material. Bandmate Stuart Hamm, a master musician in his own right, delivers a stunning bass solo toward the end of the set that rivals Satriani's own work. Just as entertaining is Crowd Chant, one of the final numbers that is essentially a musical trade-off between Satriani and the Paris audience. For as many memorable moments like the ones in Crowd Chant or the bass solo, there are an equal amount of visual distractions and therein lies the problem.
Content — 8
When one examines the overall length of the Paris show, Satriani did not skimp on material. Sadly, at times you wish things were a little shorter because the editing is so over-the-top. In terms of bonus material, the primary extra on the DVD is a 40-minute-plus interview with Satriani. He covers topics ranging from songwriting style to his relationship with his fans, and it's generally an interesting glimpse at the guitarist.
Production Quality — 4
As far as the production quality goes, where does one begin? The editor of I Just Wanna Rock seems to have gone slap-happy while playing with his software programs. From the skull motif that shows up over key guitar solos to the annoying ultraviolet-like effect to the I Wanna Rock text sprawled across the screen during the first number, it's all too much. For most Satriani fans, each guitar solo particularly Satriani's execution might seem like a rather important aspect to feature in a DVD. Well, the editor of I Just Wanna Rock apparently didn't get this note. Rarely do you get to focus in on any one thing for more than a few seconds at a time because some wacky motif gets painted across the screen. The one saving grace is during Hamm's bass solo, when the musician receives the most tasteful editing job in the set.
Overall Impression — 6
While it's hard to deny that Satriani is still at the top of his game, I Just Wanna Rock did him a disservice. The DVD seems more like a crazy editing experiment that went terribly awry. Musically, the songs Surfing With The Alien, Time Machine, and Super Colossal are still insanely good, but even broaching musical perfection can't save I Just Wanna Rock from becoming a monstrous visual headache.