First let me say I’d been looking forward to this concert since it was first announced and I brought a front row ticket online. My heart nearly skipped a beat when I heard about the last minute venue change, as I contemplated having paid an extra $20 to stand in the crowd halfway back… but they did the right thing, and I still had my seat down the front. I actual fact, I think the venue change was a blessing in disguise, as Thebarton Theatre gave a much more intimate and packed house feeling, as well as better acoustics and sound quality. Being a massive Dream Theater fan, I was mainly excited about seeing John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy live, as well as Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan and the amazing Tony MacAlpine… I think they were a little late starting, but when John came out to open the set, the crowd got very excited… <br>
John played music from his solo album, and opened his set with the powerful ‘Jaws Of Life’. This was followed up by ‘Glasgow Kiss’ and ‘Curve’. He then played the very beautiful ‘Wishful Thinking’ and finished up with the awesome ‘Damage Control’. John was looking awesome with the long hair again, and was simply perfect in every note he played (and there were an awful lot of them I can tell you…). Mike Portnoy was an absolute powerhouse on the drum-kit, and I can’t wait for Dream Theater to come in 2008 (yep, they mentioned it…)!!! Dave Larue was excellent on bass, and mirrored John’s riffs brilliantly. <br>
Next out was Steve Vai, and he played an absolutely awesome set list and had a simply amazing backing band. I am a huge fan of Tony MacAlpine, and rate him just as highly as any of the main guys in G3. Billy Sheehan was a monster on bass as usual, trading licks with Steve on many occasions. I was pleased to hear the powerful ‘Giant Balls Of Gold’ and to see the amazing two-handed fret board tapping of ‘Building The Church’. ‘Whispering A Prayer’ was absolutely beautiful as was the classic ‘For The Love Of God’. The biggest surprises for me though were Billy’s Bass solo (which completely blew my mind, you had to be there to truly appreciate it, it was beyond words…) and ‘Freak Show Excess’. I have Steve’s latest album, so I’d heard the song before, but I certainly didn’t think they’d play it live. If you’ve heard it you’ll know what I mean. The arrangement was incredible, and much credit to Jeremy Colson on drums for keeping up with all the time changes. Tony played incredible keyboards throughout the set, and in this song he played an amazing guitar solo trading massive, sweeping arpeggios with Billy. I just wish he’d been able to play more guitar solos. I hope that he’ll come on a solo tour soon… <br>
Joe Satriani was rockin’ as usual, though I must admit after the seeing John Petrucci and Steve Vai, Joe’s more mainstream style became a little boring… (Only a very little…). He did classics such as ‘Flying In A Blue Dream’, ‘The Extremist’, ‘Satch Boogie’ and ‘Summer Song’, as well as songs from his latest album, which I didn’t really know. He did do an awesome rendition of ‘Cool #9’, with a cool bass solo by Dave Larue. It was really cool when Steve and John came out during ‘Always With Me, Always With You’, and played some really amazing solos along with Joe to start the Jam. <br>
The Jam consisted of ‘Voodoo Child’ by Jimi Hendrix, ‘My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama’ by Frank Zappa, and ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’. John played the intro to ‘Voodoo Child’ and Joe sang. He also sang for ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ and Vai sang for the Zappa song. The jams were unbelievable, and you really had to be there to understand just how well the three guys connected and fed off each other, creating amazing passages and harmonies. <br>
All in all, a simply incredible night, one which will be remembered for a long time to come. They went until after midnight, with well over 3 hours of actual performance time, so it was well worth every cent. I wouldn’t shut up in the car on the way home, and when I finally got home, I couldn’t sleep, because I was so inspired.