Guitar virtuoso, Joe Satriani brought his career retrospective Surfing to Shockwave tour to the Hard Rock Rocksino on April 10. It’s amazing to think that Satriani has been recording for over 30 years. This show was a treat for the senses; not only did he have tasteful lights and video, but the sound was impeccable.
The stage was set with four tall posts with 3 circular, rotating LED lights in them. Between the posts were three large white background screens which occasionally showed various images (including a young Satriani with hair) and video that helped accent certain songs. The lighting helped set the mood for each number.
Even though the stage production was excellent; it was the sound that was the focal point of the show. Every note was crystal clear, just as it should be. Satriani proves that there is no excuse for other artists to have poor sound quality in their show if they just pay attention to detail.
Joe and his incredible backing band: Mike Kaneally on guitar/keys, Marco Minnemann on drums and Bryan Beller on bass, played a flawless 24 songs in their two set act.
Wearing all black attire except his silver metallic jacket and trademarked sunglasses, Satriani opened the show with the title track from his 2015 release “Shockwave Supernova.” Other classics in the first set included: Summer Song, Flying in a Blue Dream and If I Could Fly; the song that Coldplay agreed to settle out of court for copying parts of Satriani’s music for their hit “Viva La Vida.”
After intermission, the second set opened with an incredible drum solo from Minnemann. A drum solo is often times self-indulgent. However, when you have a great musician like Minnemann, the drum solo becomes a display of technical skill. His mastery of the cymbals is the best I’ve seen this side of Stewart Copeland of The Police.
The all instrumental second set highlights included: “Crazy Joey”, “If There Is No Heaven” and “Satch Boogie.” Well, that’s not true, the entire second set was a highlight, as was the entire concert.
The encore saw Satch take the microphone to sing “Big Bad Moon.” Although he doesn’t consider himself a vocalist, he does a respectable job when he does sing.
This career retrospective came to a close with the song that jump started his career in 1986, “Surfing with the Alien.”
Joe Satriani is truly a master at his craft and it was a pleasure to witness a maestro at work.