show review
Megaman_33 Thu Jan 13 '11
Fox Theater
Oakland, CA, US
Rank: 4 Posted: Fri Jan 14, '11 11:38 pm

Joe put on a great show yesterday at the Fox theater. Too bad I couldn't hear any of it!

My seat was near the back and the only sound that reached me there was a loud mush. I could follow along with all the songs, but only because I've seen Joe live maybe a dozen times and I know all the songs by heart, and even then it took a lot of effort. Making sense out of anything new was almost impossible. Really not a good concert experience. Not only was it not worth the money for the seats, but I really, really love seeing Joe live and I was really disappointed to miss out on what should have been a great show.

Everyone near me in the cheap seats agreed the sound was terrible. But on the BART ride home I spoke to other fans who had seats right in the front and they said the sound quality was perfect. Was there something wrong with the way the sound was directed in the back, or is the new Fox Theater just poorly designed? Either way it was no good.

Please Joe and friends, consider a different venue next time you come back home to the SF Bay. I've seen Joe indoors at the Warfield (G3-Vai & Petrucci, Crystal Planet tour) and the Filmore (a bunch of times) and at some lecture hall at UC Berkeley (G3, Gilbert & Petrucci), and the sound quality was great at all of those places. I bet even the Maritime Hall and the Great American Music hall would be good. And of course outdoor events in the summer at the Concord Pavilion or Shoreline would be fun to. Any of those places would be a huge improvement over The Fox last night.

There were parts of the concert I loved despite the poor sound: Seeing "Circles" live was awesome, as was the guest appearance of the Red Rocker. The light show kicked ass. And everything from the new album rocked hard.

Here's hoping for a better show at a different venue next time Joe's in town!

Edit: Apparently I'm not the only person who doesn't like the sound at Fox Theater. Here's a full (negative) review of the venue.

MehYam Thu Jan 13 '11
Fox Theater
Oakland, CA, US
Rank: 10 Posted: Fri Jan 14, '11 12:54 pm

This was my 5th or 6th show, and it was fantastic. Joe just keeps getting better every tour, and the variety he's thrown into the set has really mixed things up nicely. The sound was good (a little too loud - real men wear earplugs), the new guitars and amps were perfect, and the crowd was digging the whole show. Highlights, and possible SPOILERS:

- Hordes of Locusts was incredible, the weird chordal part at the end of the chorus came out perfect

- Always w/ Me... best version of this I've ever heard, I was holding back the tears. He turned his guitar volume *way* low and played it really quietly and expressively, and then just exploded at the end

- the songs from Wormhole Wizards came across really well

- Mike Mangini's a monster. The part where Joe improvised lines and he copied them was jaw-dropping

- Joe's phrasing was full of surprises. I felt like he didn't repeat himself all night, constantly throwing in left turns in his solos and melody lines. Everything was fresh and different

- Dream song

- Joe's acoustic playing

- cameo by the Red Rocker! My favorite part was during one of Joe's solos where he injected this absurdly big and cool bend, and repeated it a few times. Hagar started laughing and sang along with the bends the last three times

There were more great moments, wish this show was recorded.