show review
suchafanboy Sun Apr 29 '18
Portsmouth Guildhall, Portsmouth,
Rank: 8 Posted: Mon Apr 30, '18 12:50 pm
Truly a wondrous celebration of guitar excesses, just a little too loud, if that doesn't sound like a contradiction! The Guildhall is a suitably grand venue and for once I managed to score good seats 6 rows back from the front. I definitely preferred this to the Hammersmith Apollo where I saw the Shockwave tour.
I wasn't too familiar with Uli Roth's catalogue but the guy's a wizard for sure. Difficult task to mix all the parts of his massive backing band though, and the keyboard player's bass notes were making my whole face vibrate which wasn't really helping get the songs across. Probably just turning the whole thing down 10 or 20 dB would have made it all a lot more intelligible.
Petrucci stole the show with f**king tasty metal riffs and writing that gave the drums & bass a lot of cool stuff to play. Mike Mangini's drum theatrics really stood out. Glassy Eyed Zombies and the Happy Song are brilliant, please finish that difficult second solo album, with tunes like these it is gonna be great. The trio format worked better in the mix, everything sat well together. But again a bit on the loud side, guitar solos lost some clarity because of it.
Satch of course delivered the goods as you'd expect and Super Funky Badass did exactly what it said on the tin. It's just hard to follow Petrucci with a lot of cheerful rock tunes, it might have worked better in the other order even if that would be heresy. Again too much volume, lots of Mike Keneally's parts were getting lost.
The World's Most Over-Qualified Cover Band finale was a particularly stomping guitartastic version of the Immigrant Song where even the vocalist from Uli Roth's band got a turn to shred like a demon. But alas a lot of good playing was lost in the loud mix...
Which brings me to my rant. Dudes, Yngwie is wrong. Less is more. Nobody's ever complained a rock show was too quiet. Indeed when I saw G3 in 1997 at the Paramount in Seattle, it wasn't this loud and you could hear all the parts so much better for it. Yes, when we have some of the best living guitarists playing guitars more expensive than most people's cars to technical perfection, I want to hear all the nuances of the finely crafted signature tones. Not the deficiencies of the PA system being overdriven. And I am spoiled, we've had several G3 alumni (Gilbert, Vai, Govan) come to play for us at smaller venues on special occasions in Guildford as a masterclass with Anderton's Music Shop and it ain't that loud, it sounds better for it and you can really appreciate the talent that much more.