First let me say that when I bought my tickets from the Joe Satriani fan club (I know..) I thought I was getting an evening with Joe for 2 hours or whatever.. so when I found out it was this other thing I was hopeful that it would all be good.. but probably not better than 2+ hours of just Joe. I also must say that the sound guys should all have their asses kicked.. I’ll touch on all that later…. So we get to the Clear fuck Pavillion about 4:45, park in the 20 dollar lot and in we go. Standing in line for an 8 dollar beer we see Dennis Lordan and Jon Wiebe with their fancy comp tickets.. He asks us to go backstage with them but my special 100 dollar tickets don’t seem to allow me that privilege.
Now… back in the day, the bands played in the order they were billed. Apparently that doesn’t happen any more as I thought I was missing Dokken but I was actually missing Thin Lizzy as I heard the end of The Boys are Back in Town and we started downstairs only to be met by a throng of people going the wrong way had an actual band been playing. I run into my buddy Murf and he tells me how great Sykes and Gorham were with shredding double leads and Strat and Les Paul tone thru Marshalls. Mind you I’d have enjoyed all this in row 10 had I known about the bill change.,.. and they weren’t done changing it yet..apparently now it was time for Blue Oyster Cult. So there we are in row 10 with our 8 dollar beers at the Bone Bash with bikers and metal heads in black regardless of the 100 degree heat and what are the sound guys playing?? Disco.. really… loud… metal heads around me are yelling “.. Turn this crap off!!” at the top of their lungs to no avail.. anyway Blue Oyster Cult hits the stage right at about that time when the sun is in between the roof and the trees and myself in row 10 and the stage are bathed in sunlight. These guys must have been all the original guys as they look like 30 years of R& R had hit them.. well.. maybe not the drummer..he still had rock hair…I have to say I don’t own any BOC CD’s and if there’s any vinyl in my house it was left by an old roommate….but I recognized all the tunes and I must say had they had lights, longer than 35 minutes to play and not Deaf Ed from Uncle Charlies doing the sound, it would have been a much better show..They were good. Towards the end of Don’t fear the Reaper this guy comes out and jams with them.. some thin Hetfield looking guy with a blue strat.. He starts doing what looks like shredding with Buck Dharma but since the sound guy can’t find the mic for the amp he was using, I’m not truly sure the guitar was even plugged in.. anyway later I find out it was Brad Gillis. Joy..
So now it’s time for more 8 dollar beers and Dokken. I have always liked Dokken, being into pop and metal all at the same time and I must say that the new guitar player, formerly their attorney had all of George Lynch’s licks down to a T and did them effortlessly.. Don had a little trouble with the highs but all in all it was 35 minutes of Dokken’s greatest hits.. Susan hated it and was getting a head start on another 8 dollar beer but I thought they were pretty good. Now it was time for who we actually came for.. it was getting dark and Joes set was going to have lights, the screen and the whole 9 yards. Susan almost got up front but for lack of a green bracelett she was relegated back to row 10. Joe’s guitar techs spent an easy 30 minutes arguing with the sound guys trying to get the second guitar to actually make sound and to get Joe’s guitar to come thru the monitors.
Joe hits the stage and after about 1/2 a tune of the sound guys actually start to get some tone thru the mains. I like Joe but his first album was Surfin with the Alien and I must say.. I think the alien is Joe as he has turned himself into one different lookin’ dude, but my guitar playing friends.. he could truly be the best all around rock guitar player of our time.. His licks and tone are truly second to none, on top of that his music has remained relatively in tact thru the Hair band days, grunge, techno etc. The top 2 bands had no amps on stage.. only speaker cabs and, for whatever reason, Joes were mic’d about 3 inches from the top and left side.. no where near the middle of the speaker. Now… Joes Band.. Campeletti is a great drummer … no problems there.. Matt Bisonette seems to play bass… but rarely, it seems, ever with the drummer.. maybe they’re that tight but he still offends me.. Now… on to Galen Henson. My friends… any of us could be this guy.. I don’t know why he’s there.. apparently he used to be Joes guitar tech and maybe since he wasn’t ever anybody there’s no ego thing but this guy doesn’t even play the second parts of the songs as they are written… He basically plays bar chords all night.. on top of that, Joe is bending and stretching his strings to new heights and using the same ax for 3 and 4 tunes but Bar Chord boy has to have a new guitar each tune….maybe I’m just jealous…So Joe plays for almost an hour and showcases 4 or 5 new tunes with many of the fav’s. I will say the show was good but I thought the G3 set from last year was better. To prove we were there look at the pic Here
Susan could have left now but I wanted to see Deep Purple not having seen them since the reunion with bitter Ritchie Blackmore. At this point I am no longer drinking 8 dollar beers but 4 dollar waters. I go down a little early to see Highway Star, as Deep Purple always opens with Highway Star… but not today..While Joes db level hit 100+ from time to time, Deep Purples started there.. not that screaming mid range loud.. but concussion loud… you felt it more than you heard it… they obviously had MUCH more power thru the mains than all the other bands…. so there you are .. on the crew… making sure everything works… don’t you think SOMEONE would have checked the lead vocalist of the headlining acts mic?.. apparently not as Ian Gillian comes out belting and we can’t hear a sound… apparently the monitors were working as they were shocked that they got booed after the first 2 tunes, having no idea how the sound guys (again) were fucking up. Anyway.. Ian gets a mic with a cable ( I guess it was the wireless fucking up) they press on and if you close your eyes, Ian’s voice sounds as good as 1974… signature.. Roger Glover and Ian Paice were good and pro as well… It’s too bad Jon Lord retired as I don’t think anyone replaces him.. Donny Airey tries.. but he’s not Jon Lord. Steve Morse… what can you say.. an excellent player but so out of place with this band.. for me anyway.. his tasty licks just don’t belong… he’s not nearly as pissed off as he should be.. Yngwie would be a much better fit… or some old pissed off rock guitar god… like.. oh.. I don’t know.. maybe Blackmore??? Unfortunately Deep Purple was twice as loud with half the tone of Joe and Steve’s Musicman Guitar’s with Dimarzio pickups are never going to cut it.. for my likin anyway..So we cut out about 10.. my buddy Murf says that they went on to play some Deep Purple classics till about 11:15 or so, but like I said in the beginning… I would have been happy with Joe alone.
There you go… My next review will be Southbound at Vinnies….