'Back Pain and Weak
Bladders' might be a suggestion for the next Satriani album title
judging by the to-ing and fro-ing in the front stalls. But those who
sought intermittent relief would have missed precious moments from an end-to-end high
octane set tonight. Indeed, we expect nothing less from the guitarmeister and, as previously, after two hours he looked as fresh as
when he started.
With a new album to
promote, this show was a master blend of the old and the new. And it's
the greatest tribute that some of the more recent stuff stands up well
to the classic eighties output.
With an opening
volley of 'Ice 9', 'Horde Of Locusts' and 'Flying In A Blue Dream' it
doesn't really get much better than this. But of course it did. The
excellent 'Light Years Away' opened up the new stuff, followed soon by
another new standout 'Premonition.'
The set only sagged
when he played 'Littleworth Lane' a fairly ordinary blues that also sits
uneasily on the album.
The guitarist, at his
best, takes the listener on a journey with his solos - endlessly
inventive and involving - whilst grounding it all in a riff-based or funky undertow.
with its hypnotic funky rhythm was a case in point - an excellent
ensemble piece and perhaps surprisingly this was the actual line-up who
recorded the album with the addition of long-time collaborator/tour
manager Galen Henson (who looked like a slimmer version of Johnny
Vegas). Special mention for Zappa alumni Mike Keneally whose jazzy
inflections added colour and authority to the mix.
shred-fest was dotted with past glories too - a reprise for the standout
tracks on the previous album - 'Revelation' and 'Andalusia' - and an
outing for 'Memories' ('Not Of This Earth') and the wonderful 'Why' ('The Extremist').
No doubt some of
these choices came via bulletin board banter, but I would imagine the
less fixated as well as hardcore would have found something to get their
rocks off tonight. As for those with weak bladders, it's their
Ice 9/ Hordes Of Locusts/ Flying In A Blue Dream/ Light Years Away/
Memories/ War/ Premonition/ Satch Boogie/ Revelation/ Pyrrhic Victoria/
Crystal Planet/ The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing/ Dream Song/ God
Is Crying/ Andalusia/ Littleworth Lane/ Why/ Wind In The Trees/ Wormhole Wizards/ Always With Me Always With You/ Big Bad Moon
Encore: Crowd Chant/ Summer Song