I've been a Joe Satriani fan since the late 80s. Every new release is like a whole new set of guitar lessons to learn from. Little does Joe know that he's been the most influential guitar "teacher" I've ever had. :)
Getting to see Joe play live for the first time here in Portland on January 11th 2011 was truly an amazing experience. The Meet & Greet package was well worth it, too. My Ibanez JS1200 Joe Satriani Signature guitar finally has, well, a real signature. ;-) The privilege of actually meeting my guitar idol can't really be put into the proper words. What I can say succinctly is that Joe is incredibly generous with his time, his thoughts, and his kindness. This evening just made my whole year! If you've not done a Meet & Greet with Joe yet, you need to do it. Don't miss out on this kind of experience.
I made sure Joe knew that his Ibanez "JS" guitar was definitely the most comfortable guitar that I've ever played on stage. He of course agreed with me. :) I got to meet Jeff Campitelli briefly also -- he's very friendly and really down-to-earth. It was a true honor to spend a few minutes with these guys before the concert.
Joe really played a great show. I liked the uniqueness of some of the solos on his classic stuff. I really liked the songs he played from his newest CD also. His playing was as inspirational as ever, and he really rocked the stage.
The whole band looked like they were having a great time. (Well, most of the band anyway. More on that later.) Jeff held the groove together perfectly.
And I really like Joe's new bassist for this tour, Allen Whitman. His bass licks were cool, and very appropriate to the song. Plus he was dancing all around the stage having a blast.
Mike Keneally -- wow is he a great keyboardist! I had no idea really. I'd seen him hold his own on the guitar next to Steve Vai during the video of the first G3 concert, so I've only known him as an excellent guitarist. But keyboards? The guy was incredible. I loved the dueling keyboard vs. guitar solos that him and Joe were trading on one of the songs.
Galen Henson played quite well also, but it did seem like he might have been feeling just a little bit under the weather, from his stage presence. Still, he definitely held the rhythm section together very well and complemented the whole sound.
Overall I really enjoyed this concert. They did, however, play VERY loud, possibly too loud for this particular venue (the Roseland Theater). Given the fact that I'd forgotten my earplugs, I must say I my lack of preparedness led to some ringing ears later that evening! Maybe next time I won't be so laxed. :)
Joe, I do hope you return to Portland soon!