Joe Satriani played in Phoenix on April 6th, a make-up engagement after cancelling in December due to pneumonia. He was warmly apologetic at the outset and the nearly full house responded enthusiastically.
I was secondarily entertained by the audience, a rich mix of twenty-somethings all the way up to obvious AARP card carriers. Quite a few simply could not stay in their seats and each time that the revolving stage circled by, were on their feet: one swinging a large, pendulous (but soft) object as though it were some arcane battle mace and others signifying with obscure hand gestures–all for a smile or perhaps even a flung guitar pick from Satch himself.
The music was great. Some of the concert was carried by a drummer, a bassist and Satriani though a second guitarist joined for much of the performance. As far as power trios go I’ve heard none better. Where ZZ Top fades into a incoherent blare of Marshall stacks, Satriani was clear, precise, defined and most definitely in control of the sound. ”Masterful,” is an inadequate adverb for his axe handling skills.
What could have made this concert better? Not much, unless it included sometime, band-mates, Steve Vai and perhaps either John Petrucci or Eric Johnson. Other than that it couldn’t be beat.