Joe Satriani

State Theatre, Sydney, AUS, 06 Nov 2014

By Rahul Menon

12 November 2014

Joe Satriani made his return to Australia - and what a return it was! The State Theatre in Sydney is a fantastic venue with great sound, and I was super stoked to be a part of this show.

Starting the proceedings was Sit Down, Servant. Hailing from Austin, Texas, this two-piece was phenomenal! They played a bunch of shows with Joe Satriani in North America, and now they were brought along down under as well. Gordie Johnson plays a triple neck steel guitar and bass pedals, and he is accompanied by Brannen Temple on drums.

They have this progressive, bluesy, jazzy vibe and they were just incredible to watch. Intricate melodies with time signatures which made my head spin (in excitement), they won over the crowd within minutes of going on stage.

Gordie sits down, but his hands and legs are constantly moving - his coordination is spot on. Brannen is smooth, and he really makes you feel his passion and intensity by just the way he moves his hands and legs on the drum kit. Being a drummer myself, it is an instrument that I am very affectionate towards, and the way he played it made me feel so happy. It is music filled with soul and very engaging. Definitely check these guys out - you will not regret it.

Then on stage came the mighty Joe Satriani, accompanied by Marco Minnemann, Bryan Beller, and Mike Keneally - all of them are friggin' legends and masters of their instruments. The crowd was pumped from the moment they got on stage and soon the madness began.

I don't need to tell you how good Satch is on guitar, do I? In fact, I don't need to tell you how good each of those legends on stage were. They all were filled with so much energy and Joe, with his signature sun glasses, was just shredding away to glory, throwing his arms in the air, clapping and engaging with the crowd!

There was also a projector playing different clips along with the songs which added an extra visual appeal to the show. Songs like "Flying in a Blue Dream", "The Weight of the World", "A Door into Summer" were so good - and of course the crowd went nuts during "Satch Boogie"! It really does take someone as legendary as Mike Keneally to keep up with Satch and this man was spot on through the whole night, balancing the guitar and keys.

Another delightful part of the set was Marco Minnemann's drum solo. The guy is a beast on the drum kit, and always has a smile on his place even when playing complex technical beats. It's such a pleasure to watch him do what he does.

The song "Always With Me, Always With You" definitely touched a few people, and they ended their set with "Surfing with the Alien". They received a massive round of applause from the crowd, and then came back for an encore with the ever so awesome and crowd favourite "Crowd Chant". It had the entire venue singing along and it was amazing to be a part of it all.

A bunch of guys made their way up the front of the stage and started head banging during "Summer Song" - much to the delight of Bryan Beller who joined them in the head banging while shredding on his bass. The atmosphere was one of extreme happiness and delight, made even better by a very engaging crowd! As I left the venue, I heard someone say – "that was the best encore I have ever experienced, what a great night!"

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