show review
(Eric Godin)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 9 Posted: Wed Apr 19, '06 9:03 am

This is my 4th time seeing Stach live and actually my first time in Toronto and Massey Hall altogether. My gf and I drove about 500Kms to see this performance and boy we were in for a treat! Finally I was able to see Eric Johnson live and was amazed with his skills and technique. That solo near the end of his set that went on for 5 minutes was just awesome.. this guy knows how to mix the chords beautifully. Very melodic. Then came the master's turn.. what can I say, he's been my infuence for the last 20 years. This was Joe's best performance from the other 3 I've seen before. He seems to get more lively on stage and gets the crowd with him. I like that. The reason I'm not giving out a 10 is because of the overall audio experience. It's most probably because I was sitting on the right hand side balcony.. the bass drum was so loud that I couldn't ever hear Dave LaRue at times and even Joe when he was shredding on the lower strings. Other than that, the show was top notch! Thanks to Eric, Joe and your respective band members and tour team for such a wonderful musical experience. My gf and I were transported to another planet!

On a side note, I wish I knew about Joe's appearance at Steve's music store in Toronto. It's been a dream of mine for years to meet and greet with Joe. I only knew the day after the show. :-( I have so many questions for you Joe and one of them being how I should go about sending my demo CD and getting feedback from pro instrumentalists like you. I've been studying for years with one of Michel Cusson's student. I'm sure you know Michel from your first G3 tour in Montreal. Ah well.. guess it's better luck next time.

Gotta go practice some more..

(Rob Waite)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 10 Posted: Mon Apr 17, '06 3:49 am
Wow! What an amazing guitar extravaganza. A professional, crisp, clean, tight, well run show from start to finish. I just want to add to the positivity (and not the negativity) that everyone else has put down. The show was amazing! Eric Johnson was splendid, and his bass player, Chris, is an incredibly nice guy. An exemplary opening act. Joe's show was better than any I've seen, and the venue was classy. Even though my hesitation caused me to miss out on the platinum package, and I didn't see the value in the gold, I just booked tickets through the regular channels. Main floor, about five rows from the back, which, in Massey, actually isn't that bad. And, I assume I was in the family/old people section (noone wanted to stand for Crowd Chant, and they seemed to be making excessive trips to the bathroom or wherever they were going....) but the show was terrific. My highlight for the show? I am a guitar player, not a drummer, but I would have to say watching Jeff Campitelli. I mean, Joe is a 'monster player' and truly amazing to behold, but I have never seen someone so blissed out and so obviously happy doing what he does. As I watched him smile and sway back and forth in a drummers imitation of Stevie Wonder, I was amazed by how in to it and how grinny he was. His performance was tight and he seemed to be riding the Alien Express to Groovesville. For the overall experience, I was truly entertained. The show truly gave me a renewed appreciation for how gifted, and generous Joe and his crew is. And for the gift of Made Of Tears, which IMHO is the reason to pick up a copy of Super Colossal was a stand out in my mind. The Always With You section of AWM, AWY was a new take on the end to that song, and took it to an unexpected, cool new place... All in all, Thanks to everyone and Great Job guys! Keep it up! You keep playing, and I'll keep participating.

(Alex Orechin)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 10 Posted: Sat Apr 15, '06 3:11 pm

Incredible. You are an alien Joe, it's been a couple days since this intense musical journey occurred but here goes...

Well hands down Eric Johnson is one of the most technical, melodic, and tonaly smart musicians I have ever heard, and am really glad I finally saw him live...

Joe, when the lights hit, we were awashed in a deep blue mist, a mystic man creeping his way on stage like a ghost, and then those beautiful chords to FIABD came ringing through and we we're taken to a nother planet.

The energy was amazing, the crowd is unfortunately always the uncertain and laid-back type, but I recognized a good amount of devotees scattered throughout the building and fueled me to show a more loud and present support for each song.

The new album was dead on live, highlight was by far 'One Robot's Dream', this to me is the pinnacel song on the album, musically and conceptually, with a personal introduction of the song by Joe, which hearing him describe the idea of a Robot coming alive from a sparked thought. Just grooving.

Another highlight was hearing the intro to Turkey Man! Time stopped, and the flow of those guitar arpeggio's was cosmic. That is such a rarity to hear, and a perfect piece that leads into AWAWY.

Somebody beat me to the setlist, but they wrote it in perfect order. Thanks again Joe, can't wait for show #5. Please consider another outdoor show instead of Massey Hall. Great Job Jeff, Joe, Dave, and Galen.

---------- To everyone complaining about your bullshit premium passes, nobody cares, send your concerns to the tour promoters and not your fellow Toronto Joe comrades, it disappoints me to read your lousy banter in a section that's devoted to expression of the fan and their experience of Joe's music and not the indirect circumstances surrounding your ticket arrangements! ----------

had to vent, thanks, Alex.

(chris luyk)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 6 Posted: Sat Apr 15, '06 1:28 am

First of all, this score is based on my whole overall concert experience for the night. That includes everything. Mostly things that had nothing to do with Joe at all. I figure it's the only way I can rate my experience. I'll end this beginning by saying that Joe's on-stage aura is overwhelming and he performs like a machine. I can't fault him for anything like that. I'd give him a 10 for that anyday. I love this guy and have for the majority of my life.

Here's where it begins. I bought my tickets weeks in advance and I was given "the best available tickets", unfortunately, these tickets were quite possibly in the worst spot in the house. Unbelievably obstructed view, crammed seats where my legs dug into the seat in front on me. Two major problems with this. I checked a couple nights before the show on ticketmaster and every seat I saw was much better than the ones I purchased, despite being weeks after I bought my "best avaible seating". Second problem, in the level below me, in the cushioned seated area, where the view is of the whole stage unobstructed, there was a good 40-50 seats that were unused the whole night. I couldn't help but stare at those seats through the night, cursing ticketmaster/massey hall every time my legs felt like they were bleeding. This unfortunately was one reason for my experience not being as good as I had hoped for my fiance and I.

Next problem. NO ONE for the first hour of the show (entire Eric Johnson set) was sitting in their own seats, so there was constant confusion and people yelling at eachother for screwing the guy with the right ticket over. I saw the people that finally sat in the seats beside me change places 4 times, because they kept getting kicked out of where they were. This is a major problem when the stage is as limited as it is, and the only view you have is being blocked by an usher scratching his head with his flashlight for 40 of the 60 minute set. Confusion finally ended near the beginning of Joe's set. Which is good, because I'd have lost my mind if that continued.

I need not really say anything about Eric Johnson's set, because given the last paragraph, it's suffice to say it wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped. I'm not a huge Johnson fan, but I was excited to see him. Some mic problems also plagued him, too. During one of his songs where he sings, I couldn't hear a single vocal line. When he talked, I also couldn't make out a thing. It was really quiet, but I chalk that up to the fact that he's probably just a really quiet/shy person.

Alright, now lets talk the setlist. Due to this website, I was already aware of what songs he was going to play, because I know Joe sticks with the same thing for every night. Someone mentioned that it was a well balanced setlist, but I'm very inclined to disagree. I realize that he has to promote the new album by playing new stuff, and that's great, because I like the new album alot. In fact, he played nearly all the songs I really liked off the new album. The massive problem I had was with the other 10 (if I recall correctly) songs that were played. You'd think that with such a huge catologue of albums and songs that there'd be a variety of things played from all different albums and stages in his career. But nope, he still insisted on playing half of the "surfing with the alien" album. I love that album, but it's nearly 20 years old now, and to ignore almost everything you've done for the last 10 years is really baffling to me. There was nothing original or exciting about this setlist and I know this isn't a big deal for some people, but to me it was huge, and that's a major reason for the score I'm giving.

One really good thing that I loved was that the sound wasn't overwhelmingly loud. It's nice to go to a show where afterwards your ears aren't bleeding and you're deaf for the next week straight. It was really quite perfect.

(kirk bradley)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 5 Posted: Fri Apr 14, '06 4:59 pm

Well most of this has to do with ETIX. I ordered 4 gold tickets and am still waiting for something to arrive. As of yet I have No tickets, no picks and no t-shirts.

The three friends and I (all aged 49-50 yrs old) Took 2days off work & rented hotel rooms in toronto. Support at ETIX emailed to inform me that arrangments would be made at Massey hall for our seats.We arrived at 2pm & no one had a clue what to do, they asked us to return 6. We did, but still no tickets. After an argument with Massey Hall management,we were given a hand written slip of paper and assurances that we would be admitted.

The original email with my conformation number on it, stated that the concert started at 8pm, so we left Massey for some dinner and returned at 750 pm to find the concert allready in progress. I should mention at this point that I purchased my tickets 20 minutes after they went on sale.We did get the seats we paid for, ,but after that amount of agrivation it was difficult to enjoy the rest of the evening.

- Kirk Bradley

(Chad Cooney)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 8 Posted: Thu Apr 13, '06 8:23 pm

What can I say that hasn't already been said? This was my fourth Joe show and it was pretty damn good! This show was the second time I've seen him at Massey Hall (first time was in November 2003 on the G3 tour with Vai and Malmsteen - amazing!). I decided to go all out this time and get the platinum package. After listening to Joe for 9 years, I finally got to meet him and shake his hand! Thanks Joe, it was an experience I will never forget!

This concert should have gotten a 10, but after reading another review from a platinum ticket holder (Dave Rowland, I think...a fellow bald brother!), I'm only giving it an 8 because of the bulls--t that happened with the platinum packages. First, our buddy John Iverson was 15 minutes late in showing up to meet our group. Then he tells us that because Massey Hall is unionized, we're not going to get to go backstage, which all of us were promised when we bought these packages. Mr. Iverson also told us that if we were to be allowed backstage, extra money would have to be shelled out for union photographers, blah blah blah. Well guess what John?....about 60 of us shelled out almost $300 each for that.....that's $18,000. And you try to tell us that you can't afford it? Whatever! After the show, he tried to feed my friend and I this story about how they just found out about it the day before. So I did some more can download technical information about Massey Hall about rigging, sound systems, etc. In this tech manual, it explicitly states that Massey Hall is a union hall. You would think that when organizing events like these that they would check into stuff like this, especially when Joe himself said that he's been playing in Toronto for 16 years.

Well, enough whining. Aside from that crap, the show was wicked! I got to meet some fellow Joe fans who love him and his music as much as I do. Although I agree with the "tired set list" comments, I'll still go watch go whenever he comes to Toronto. The new material sounded superb! That's the one thing I love about Joe's music...each new album is something different from the last. My friend and I were lucky enough to be sitting in the very front row, an experience I would love to repeat.

Thanks again never cease to amaze me with every album you do and every song you play. Meeting you was an absolute pleasure, and to have a picture taken with you is something that I will always cherish. Methinks I'll get the picture blown up into a poster and hang it on my living room wall.

Keep on rockin'!

(Barrie Poole)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 10 Posted: Thu Apr 13, '06 5:44 pm

The sound of the show was absolutely top notch, the song selection was great as well...

I had the disinct pleasure to shake your hand, one of many I'm sure... I just loved the new Live material... A Cool New Way, Crowd Chant, Made Of Tears... all good stuff to hear live... I'm beyond words really... Dave LaRue is an excellent addition to the line up, Galen Henson rocked out with some tight rhythm guitar... and Jeff Campitelli was flawless on the Skins... Joe of course was amazing... I had one of the most awsome times meeting Joe and the band... it was awsome that's for sure...

anyways, Peace Out

tinribs Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 10 Posted: Thu Apr 13, '06 12:02 pm

Excellent show. Both guitarists were in great form.

As for the sound 'problems' I think one of the previous reviewers misunderstood the review prior to his. The problem wasn't that the bass guitar couldn't be heard or was too loud depending on where you were sitting. The problem was the bass drum - it was far too loud and tended to dominate everything. Not to the point where the guitars couldn't be heard, but certainly to the point where the bass guitar was buried in the mix. I presume that the bass drum is fed through the general PA system, and in this day and age I would have thought with the improvement in technology that the sound coming through PA systems would be better. Unfortunately the bass drum sound made the overall mix a bit muddy, with the result that the bass guitar couldn't be distinguished.

The guitarists were clear enough though - especially Joe - but it was quite obvious, especially during Eric's set, that when the bass drum wasn't being used you could hear much more detail from the guitars. As well as the bass guitar being lost in the mix, I found that Eric's voice often got overpowered by the bass drum. The doesn't have the strongest voice in the world and as a result it got lost in the overall mix. During one song both he and his guitarist seemed to be singing something but it came across as more of a series of moans from the pair of them. Maybe it was moans and that is how the song goes, but you couldn't tell because the bass drum was battering away and drowning them out.

As for the performances:

Eric - I was amazed at how he could switch from one guitar effect to the next and back within a song and it was all so seamless. Most guitarists wouldn't be brave enough to have multiple effects within one song but he carries it off seemingly without effort.

Joe - uniformly excellent and breathtaking at times. He and the band are tight but loose if that makes sense. The performance is tighter than a duck's wazoo, but the attitude is loose. Again it all looks so effortless. As for the tune selection, there were no surprises - I had looked at other reviews in advance and had worked out what the standard set was. The standard set reported by our reviewers (as played in Buffalo and at one of the Chicago shows) was delivered - 19 tunes, 9 from the new album and 10 classics. I had more or less memorized the running order, and it was odd to know what was likely to come up next. I'd never been in that position at a gig before. In one way it was good as I knew when a tune I really liked was about to be played, but on the other hand it meant no surprises. Which I suppose is OK as the surprise may have been a bad one - the replacement of one classic I had been looking forward to by something else. I was hoping for a pleasant surprise, like Big Bad Moon being played, but I can't complain. The standard set is amazing.

All in all an amazing night out - thanks to all involved, on stage and behind the scenes.

PS Towards the end I thought I saw Joe playing rhythm and Galen take the lead for part of one tune. Not that you could tell from the lights and positioning. Joe was front and centre and Galen was safely tucked back as usual, and the lights didn't highlight Galen, but for a minute or two I thought I saw Galen playing lead and Joe simply strumming rhythm. Can anyone confirm this? if it's correct, Galen should get his moment in the spotlight - bring him forward and make a fuss of him!

Donkey Hotay
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 10 Posted: Thu Apr 13, '06 11:21 am

Last time I saw Joe (G3 2003 with Vai and YJM), it was getting near the end of that tour and Joe was obviously tired, maybe even sick. Compounding that was the fact that for some reason his sound never really came together until a few songs into his abbreviated set that night. No such problems this time out! Joe was in absolute top form! Unfettered of the additional responsibilities that come along with a G3 type venture and with an excellent new release (Super Colossal) under his belt, Joe was at his peak in terms of sound and performance. He said “I think this is like the 16th time we’ve played here… it is almost like home!” He looked very comfortable and happy indeed. Joe seems to be at a very good place and time in his life right now as he approaches the big 5-0, his new music and his stage persona and delivery are peppy, playful, upbeat and almost downright joyous. When Joe strapped on the Super Colossal guitar (CD cover painting on the body) he joked “When they painted this Super Colossal guitar they didn't realize I'd be picking my nose!” “Maybe the joke is on me!”

The set was, as expected, loaded with songs from Super Colossal which is not a bad thing at all! These new tunes sound great live with the wonderful backing of Galen Hensen on second guitar, new bass lord Dave LaRue and in particular the spot on drumming of Jeff Campitelli. Jeff was fantastic on the night, easily recreating the Simon Phillips grooves from the new CD. The rest of the songs selected provided a nice mix from the back catalogue. The overall sound was superb. Every nuance of Joe’s repertoire was easily heard and recognizable in the context of the song. Great pain has been taken in rehearsal, particularly on the new tunes, to provide an accurate re-creation of the studio tone. That is not to say Joe did not rock out! He took extended solos on many of his older tunes, and also in particular on “One Robot’s Dream” with its groove tailor-made for a fusioney fretwork excursion. As is usually the case unfortunately, the Toronto crowd was a little laid back and I am sure this will not be the crowd remembered by the band for best “Crowd Chant” during the encore. Either most there did not know the tune or it was just another case of old conservative Toronto attitude. Joe rocked, and he and the band deserved better audience participation for sure.

Opener Eric Johnson walked on stage in getup that had ‘accountant’s night out on the town” written all over it. He played a very workmanlike set with his young band mates but struggled with sound balance, mikes cutting out and even some missed notes here and there for much of the night. It was still a very good performance but not close in any way to the legendary and incendiary performance Eric once gave at the famed El Mocombo club several years back. That El Mo show, or even the Austin City Limits concerts will be how I choose to remember Eric in concert. Alex Lifeson was on Eric’s special guest list but I did not see him in the audience. Hmmm that could have made for a cool jam huh?

Unfortunately I did not jot down the set lists, but they went something like this:

Eric Johnson Set List: Summer Jam My Back Pages Trademark Love or Confusion May This Be Love (Jimi Hendrix) Good to Me Morning Sun? (a new tune?) Rocktopus Intro to Cliffs of Dover Cliffs of Dover

Joe Satriani Set List: Flying In A Blue Dream The Extremist Redshift Riders Cool #9 Ten Words Satch Boogie Super Colossal Just Like Lightnin' Ice 9 One Robot's Dream A Cool New Way The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing The Meaning of Love Made Of Tears Circles Always With Me Always With You Surfing With the Alien Encores: Crowd Chant Summer Song

(Dave Rowland)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 10 Posted: Thu Apr 13, '06 8:58 am
This was my 3rd time seeing Joe & it was the first time that I decided to buy the "Premium Package" What a concert! And what a treat for my wife & I to finally be able to meet Joe! He is a true gentleman & he was nice enough to take off his hat so we could both show off our Bald Heads together! Can't wan't for the photo's. It was nice to meet Jeff Canpitelli as well. I told him that he looks like he is having so much fun up there when he plays...And he said that each show is a blast for everyone. I want to thank "John Iverson" for letting my wife & I be the two people to see the last two songs peformed backstage. (Crowd Chant & Summer Song) What a rush!!!!! Your a great guy John & I would love to have your job. As for the concert, Joe was amazing! I just sat there with my mouth open wondering how someone can play like that. To qoute a line from "Dumb & Dumber" he is like a "tractor beam, sucked me right in". Jeff's drumming was great & Dave, the new bass player was really good. I don't want to forget Galen. You add alot when Joe is going nuts on the guitar. I will definitely buy the premium package again, only next time I think that I will get one in a US venue. Only due to the fact that there was some stupid UNION policy that prevented everyone who bought the premium package from having a tour of the stage area. Other than that, the night was one that my wife & I will never forget! Joe, you are the only one that I would ever paid money like that to go see...Happy 50th in July & thanks for all the music & DVD's you have provided us with to enjoy. See you next time.... One last thing....Hope you can have a future G3 tour with one of our very own Canadian guitar hero's "Frank Marino". That would be awsome!

(George Crecoukias)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 9 Posted: Thu Apr 13, '06 8:54 am

Well this has been the best concert I've been to so far. Joe's performance was amazing and I feel sorry for anyone who missed it. Eric Johnson was also amazing.

I was way at the left so I got to hear the guitar very clearly and almost every note which is what I wanted. The overall sound was good and not loud at all. It was very enjoyable and if you were familiar with the songs like I was then you would instantly be immensed in the show.

During Eric's performance I could barely hear the bass at all. It was like Eric was playing with the drummer only, which was kind of unfair because it sounded like it was missing something. Also I like his bassist and I was kind of dissapointed not to hear him for most of the time. Eric also plays 3 brand new songs.

During Satch's performance, the sound was a bit better, but the bass was still not very audible and I think the reason was that the bass drum was overpowering it or something (also we were at the left side). Then after a couple of songs Larue turned up and it got alot better especially during Cool #9. Not sure what Gaylen was doing he looked like he was doing something but I couldn't hear anything of it except during blue dream cause he used an accoustic and during some other parts here and there.

(Eric Brown)
Wed Apr 12 '06
Massey Hall
Toronto, Ontario, CA
Rank: 9 Posted: Thu Apr 13, '06 5:33 am
Great show, it had been 13 years since I saw Satch last at Massey Hall and he didn't dissapoint! The only reason I didnt give a 10 is because the bass was really high in the mix on a few songs where I couldn't hear Satch's guitar :( Other than that just seeing Joe play is always a pleasure and an honor. Great set list with old and new well balanced. Can't wait for him to come back again!!