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As the show was drawing to a close after four hours of shred' the trio finished the show with the Jimi Hendrix classic Voodoo Chile lasting an incredible 15 minutes and finishing with an enormous roar from the crowd.
Australia (Sydney), December 1, 2006
Metal_link111, on september 03, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Since heavy metal began in the 1970s with acts such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, the 'guitar solo' has always been an important, if not the most important, component of a classic tune. Dubbed by many fans as the archetypal sound of the heavy metal pioneers, guitar soloing has taken many different and unique paths developing it's own terminology and subgenres. On December 1st, in their first tour of Australia, Master Joe Satriani, his superb apprentice Steve Vai and prog-shredding genius John Petrucci teamed up to create shredding's ultimate super group, 'G3'. John Petrucci, Who became famous as a the lead guitarist of prog-metal giants Dream Theater, kicked off the show with tracks off his solo record 'Suspended Animation' alongside fellow Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and bassist Dave Larue. Musically, Petrucci's show was flawless. The unique bond between himself and his musical counterparts during the set was vibrant and equally engaging drawing great enthusiasm from the large crowd. Perhaps his best performed song of the night was 'Damage Control', a song defined by it's Dream Theater-like style, which combined the heavy with the wonderfully melodic. Up next was the showman and comedian, Steve Vai. Of the three, Vai was by far the most dynamic making sounds like you've never heard and playing it in ways not thought to be humanly possible! As his set continued through songs like Freak Show Excess, For the Love of God and Building a Church, Vai also showed off his bass player Billy Sheehan, voted 'Best Rock Bass Player' five times in 'Guitar Player Magazine', who was undeniably the best man for the job. In the end it was Vai Who ultimately stole the show and not just with his unique technical ability but by his always lively character.
After almost two hours of 'shred', the time had come for G3's brainchild to finally grace the stage, a time that was long over due. Joe Satriani, or 'Satch' as he is affectionately known by his most devoted fans, was greeted with chants with seemed to increase in volume as the lights dimmed. Sporting the most recent arrival to his guitar family, a guitar painted with a large portrait of himself, Satriani brought with him a unique sound which had framed his entire career. As he moved at graceful pace through his most famous tracks such as Cool #9, The Extremist and Satch Boogie, the audience was treated to a blend of musical styles from jazz to blues, hard rock to boogie. Finally, the 'G3' experience was perhaps (as always) the most exciting part of the night. The quality of the sound was excellent as it usually is at the Hordern Pavillion due to the buildings old design not once did the loud guitars sound discomforting even when distorted and mangled as much as possible! // 9
Perfomance: During Petrucci's set, it was Portnoy who kept the performance visually as well as musically interesting while Petrucci preferred to stay on his side of the stage moving around little. Of all the performances on the night, Portnoy was arguably the most entertaining drummer, entertaining the crowd by throwing his drum sticks in the air and catching them without missing a beat. While Portnoy did a great job at pleasing the crowd, it's difficult to forget perhaps the most entertaining, Steve Vai! Standing in front of a strategically placed fan, Vai showed off his technical ability while posing various facial expressions much to the screaming delight of the audience which was largely his. Half way into his set, Vai decides he wants to show off something else: his Prince impressions. Here he would mimic the high-pitched vocals of the singer on guitar and make the audience sing along, now you guys sound like Prince! he adds while laughing, He would be so proud. It is difficult not to smile when Satriani is on stage; his friendly charisma matched with his technical ability was what made him my personal favourite of the night. It is always highly entertaining to watch Satch's facial expressions which seem to mimic the guitar perfectly and even more so his way of 'grooving' to the music, not even during a difficult solo does Satch stay still. At the end of his final song, Satriani continues with an electric improvisation while Vai walks onto the stage alongside HIM and adds an extra solo. Minutes later Petrucci reappears and adds his own improvised solo to the song while Satriani grins and shouts into the microphone Now this is a G3 experience!
Now was the time for the real G3 experience to occur, when all three played together to provide an ultimate blast of guitar 'shred'. To make the performance a little more 'Aussie' as Vai put it, each grabbed their own 'Crocodile Dundee' hat and moved into their own version of Neil Young's 1989 classic Rockin' in the Free World. During the new 'shred' version of My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama, Petrucci fooled around by playing the main riff to Vai's For the love of God during one of his improvisation bits, much to Vai's amusement, and Satriani competed with the two by showing off his whammy bar. As the show was drawing to a close after four hours of 'shred' the trio finished the show with the Jimi Hendrix classic Voodoo Chile lasting an incredible 15 minutes and finishing with an enormous roar from the crowd. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, Petrucci's set was a genuinely wonderful tribute to the heavier sounds of the guitar provided by three equally talented musicians while Vai's eccentric and equally entertaining persona provided an excellent marriage with his style of music. Satch is undeniably my favourite of the three (though not much separates them as they are all unique in their own set way) mostly due to his exciting (and perfectly combined) integration of many different styles. Held at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney's Fox Studios on the 1st of December, G3 received an enthusiastic welcome from the crowd Who had been waiting for something like this for some time! At $AU100 a ticket, the show was well worth the money, not much more could be asked for: four hour's of shred and an equally vibrant visual performance was quite enough! The perfect combination of musicians and technical ability guaranteed the glorification of one of the most important instruments ever created by man: the guitar. // 9