The original speed demon himself, Joe Satriani, brought his G3 Tour to The Beacon Theater in NYC – Joe’s home – and he, former Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci and Def Leppard originator Phil Collen combined for one hell of a show that crossed many genres – am I the only one who didn’t know Phil Collen was playing delta blues now?
Anyway, Collen and his band, Delta Deep, kicked the whole shebang off with an outrageous set featuring six rather long tunes – you get your money’s worth – including four of their own and wrapping up with Down in the Delta. Look, I’ve been a Def Leppard fan for a long time, so I know Phil Collen can play guitar. What I didn’t know was that Phil Collen can play blues guitar. I know this is a tour showcasing the guitar work of three masters of the riff, but Delta Deep are absolutely fantastic and I haven’t stopped listening to them since the show, with Collen’s guitar work shining on every tune. Def Leppard are on tour this summer, so perhaps I’ll get to catch Collen in his element, playing what made him a household name.
Up next was John Petrucci for the prog metal portion of the night. Honestly, never been a big Dream Theater fan but I’ve always enjoyed good guitar work, and Petrucci is widely accepted as one of the greats in prog metal, and seeing him live only made me appreciate him that much more. It appears that everything he played – 5 of his 6 songs – came from his solo album Suspended Animation, with the exception of his prog version of Wrath of the Amazons, better known as the Wonder Woman theme. Look, all prog metal is awesome, and I just never really got into Dream Theater despite Petrucci being fantastic on guitar, but seeing him live is going to have me going back through their catalog just to hear more of him.
And then it was time for the guy with the fastest fingers in the world, Joe Satriani, who’s something of a local guy and puts a lot of work into his G3 tours every so often – they used to be annually, now he’s skipping a few years here and there – including finding other great guitarists to jam with. Satch doesn’t sing, thank god, he just plays incredible riffs and runs through tune after tune totaling about a dozen songs if you count the drum solo. This is totally fine, nobody goes to see Joe Satriani to hear him sing, they go to hear him shred for an hour or so and he absolutely rocks the hell out of any venue he walks into. Anyone who’s a fan of solid guitaring is a fan of Satch and for good reason, but the highlight here was the G3 jam at the end of the night. Three songs with Petrucci, Collen and Satriani all playing together and Collen’s singer, Debbie Blackwell-Cook even joins in on the fun – as does the one and only Glenn Hughes.
Look, anyone who’s ever heard of Joe Satriani knows what they’re getting. This tour is no exception, but it might be even better than previous iterations of G3 with Petrucci and Collen along for the ride. It’s a trip watching these three play, especially together, and you’re getting your money’s worth with close to 2 1/2 hours of tunes. Check out the gallery below.