Joe Satriani Metropolis Montreal Dec, 2010


I think it’s only fair to preface this review by confessing that I’m probably one of the biggest Joe Satriani fans ever. Since hearing cuts off his 1986 offering “Not of This Earth” I have been admiring him for the amazing talent that he is.

His feel, his unmistakable groove and his technical prowess blew my mind back in the 80’s and I’ve been addicted ever since.

I’ve seen Satriani in concert several times, and like the times before, his recent appearance at Montreal’s Metropolis in December 2010 didn’t disappoint.

I’ve described watching him play as “like going to the SOURCE for a refill of soul fuel”. I swear that his music causes changes in me at the cellular level –bringing everything into perfect harmony at a euphoric frequency. Ahhhh Bliss.

Joe’s understated, yet meticulous approach to performing is just what one might expect. The music is the biggest focus of the show, no flashy distractions. Joe only played 5 guitars over the course the of the evening, including an acoustic that he played for one song.

Joining Satriani on stage were Jeff Campitelli (drums), Mike Keneally (Keyboards), Allen Whitman (Bass) and Galen Henson (guitar). The band was exceptionally tight as they drove through the 90 minute set with each song flowing seamlessly into the next.

There was some playful banter on stage between Satriani and Keneally when each tried to outdo the other playing their respective instruments with their teeth. It seemed that they were truly enjoying the moment, when they took a little time off from the incredibly technical set to…well…play. The band was all smiles, as was the audience.

With more than 22 albums of material to choose from, Satriani selected songs spanning his career, digging up a few tracks from the early albums including Big Bad Moon from 1989’s Flying in a Blue dream, on which he sang and played harmonica.

The sound was crystal clear and well separated. Some notes hung in the air heavy like humidity while others ripped through the room like a lightening bolt. Every note right where it was supposed to be. True artistry and the crowd ate it up.

For the first encore Whitman reappeared in a Fleur-de-Lys T-shirt, which garnered even more enthusiastic applause as the band tore into another 12 minute set.

Joe Satriani is one of those players that you just have to see live at least once in your life. His music is a complex tapestry woven with many layers, it can move us deeply without lyrics. When there is a room, filled with people being moved by the same wave…it’s nothing short of magical!

Pamela Ashton

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