(Photo by Martin Thomas)
For his own admission, "There is no better place than London to end an European Tour". The UK capital is in for a real treat tonight, with Joe Satriani arriving to town touring his new album, Shockwave Supernova.
Sparkles of great fireworks coming are set alight by an old friend of Bluebird Reviews, the fabulous Dan Patlansky. The South African guitar Virtuoso has been the Support Act for Satriani's last 25 dates of this European Tour and it is virtually impossible to find anybody better than Patlansky nowadays, in the music business, to open a night of rock of such great magnitude.
Patlansky's 3-pieces band offers a very solid 40 minutes set, in which he cannot express enough his gratitude and appreciation to his English fans for supporting his music and to Satriani, for allowing him to be on this Tour. There is the opportunity tonight to hear two brand new songs, Run and Stop The Messing, both included in Patlansky's forthcoming album, expected in 2016. Run, in particular, shows early signs of another potential mega-hit coming for the talented South African guitarist, given the crowd's strong response.
(Photo by Charlotte Wellings)
At 8.30pm sharp, lights go down and the thunderous guitar of Satriani attacks the show with the killer tempo of Shockwave Supernova, the title track of the guitar Maestro's new album. Satriani looks in great shape and unleash his phenomenal artistry and ability throughout the two-hour plus show. The stage offers, in true Satriani's style, some great light effects and a beautiful montage of background images to accompain each tune, just to add some extra spice to this formidable night of music.
Often wrongly depicted as self-indulgent, many people tent to forget that, to maintain high standard of music, in a purely instrumental show like this, it requests an incredible amount of versatility and skills. But that is what separate a genius like Satriani from music Average Joes. The American artist showcases his deep musical understanding by incorporating, in his highly fuelled rock tunes, elements of funk and fusion, to make this incredible live set even more palatable. Every note coming from each tune of the Guitar Maestro's many guitars manages successfully to tell a story, without the need of having a singer on stage.
Crystal Planet is powerful, boombastic and armed of an irresistible guitar riff. Butterfly And Zebra is tender and soulful, with its melody encapsulating perfectly the tale Satriani wanted to tell through his guitar. Crazy Joey is, perhaps, one of the most intense track of the new album and of tonight's show. Satriani reveals it all about himself, in this 5-minutes long, magic tune; there is creativity, fun, skills and playfulness. A touch of genius.
Satriani's band plays also a great role in tonight's show. The class and versatility of Mike Keneally on guitar and keys, the sharp, powerful bass of Bryan Beller and the imperial tempo that Marco Minnemann on drums dictates on each tune, make this band a true rock music machine like very few around.
The fans tonight at The Apollo are in total music Nirvana and, in a tremendous crescendo of music tempo, old and new gems of Satriani's repertoire like Luminous Flesh Giants and Goodbye Supernova, join forces in leading superbly the crowd to the end of a fabulous show.
Satriani and his band look visibly happy about tonight's performance and decide to pull off the most precious ace off their sleeves on their Encore, by executing an incredible version of Surfing With The Alien, which gets the biggest cheer of the night at The Apollo.
There are no many Music Raconteurs around the globe able to deliver the fire and the flare that Satriani's guitar does. A Music Meteorite landed in London tonight, a Music Surfing Alien emerged from it and brought a magnificent night of rock that the Londoners wil remember for a very long time.
Giovanni "Gio" Pilato