JOE SATRIANI, HAMMERSMITH APOLLO, LONDON 20th June 2006
I went to see Joe Satriani at the Apollo, Hammersmith in London... and it was AAA, all the way! The sound quality was really extremely good. We were up in the circle kinda looking down... would have been cool to be up front close to the stage, but those tickets were sold out ages ago. As the show kicked off (having rushed back from the toilet, where we'd cued for ages... and I'd run into an old drummer friend from the past)... I felt real excitement welling up inside of me
This was my first Satch gig... well, one where I was actually there as opposed to watching it on vid or DVD... and it really was both outstanding and inspirational! The sound quality was impressive. Okay, the bass could have been upped a bit in the mix but consider this... that amazing wall of sound, all just came from three guys... and one crazy lead guitar player!
No fancy props or way over the top light show... no, that's not what we came to see. And, they came from every walk of life, here in Britain... to see Mr. Satriani play his guitar. There were people old enough to be my grannie... and young enough to be my grand kids (if I had any)! That's truly saying something.
I don't know what it's like in the States, but here in the UK 'corporate rock' has starved the people of that vital elemental component of rock music... lead guitar. They say 'rock' outsold pop recently for the first time? By 'rock' they're referring to rather kind of limp bands that strum away and yodel a lot. And there are no lead guitar breaks any more.
I wonder... is that really, because it means you first need to spend a lot of time learning to play your instrument properly... before you walk down the road and get a record deal? And that it requires you to spend hours and hours practising on some kind of a regular basis?
Anyway 'they' say there's no market for it anymore... just as they did when Joe wanted to cut his first album I believe? Thankfully, Satch continues to boogie like no other guitar player can. And to this very day... continues to prove them all wrong.
P.S. If you like guitar music, check out 'Johnny A' ... the support for Joe's gig. This dude can play really good 'clean' guitar... doesn't sing, just instrumental... but an extremely well done rendition of "Wichita Lineman"... Jimmy Webb's song by Glen Campbell, really struck the right chord with me.