G3 TOUR 2018 - ULI JON ROTH / JOHN PETRUCCI / JOE SATRIANI  - Colston Hall, Bristol 26.04.18

CHARLEY FARLEY

(PHOTO CREDITS: MORAG FARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY)

 

There had been much said about the previous shows on this tour, all of it good. It was a chance for people to hear three guitarists, all at the top of their game, to show us exactly why they are the influencers for many of todays guitarists. Colston Hall is about to be demolished and rebuilt, so to see these musical greats in this old setting was bound to provoke emotions.

 

Taking our seats in the auditorium, the anticipation was palpable. A giant screen behind the stage would provide animation for the night - setting the mood with graphics for each song as three virtuoso musicians - Joe Satriani, Uli Jon Roth (formerly of Scorpions), and John Petrucci (Dream Theater) who would fill the Hall with music for over 3 hours.

 

Uli Jon Roth was first to take the stage, launching into ‘Sky Overture’ with two other guitarists, keyboards, bass and drums. Uli Jon Roth’s technique was enchanting, casting his spell with the wave of his right hand whilst playing with his left. With his trade mark headband and feather string hanging from the end of his guitar, he mesmerised the audience as he and his supporting band played a set of absolute brilliance.

 

Taking the vocals for ‘Sun In My Hand’,  Uli shows his unique skills and talents, evoking emotion in everyone who watched and listened, spellbound, he has a band behind him, mostly in the shadows.  The next song, ‘We’ll Burn The Sky’ gives guitarist Niklas Turmann the chance to take the lead vocals on this track which is dedicated to Uli Jon Roth’s recently deceased brother Zeno. A sedate start to this track suits the added emotional vocals to this song.

 

‘Fly To The Rainbow’ begins with just Uli Jon Roth on guitar with keyboards to support and lift, the track gains momentum and gallops off when the remainder of the band step forward with their instruments. Uli Jon Roth manages to somehow create gut churning low tones from his guitar.

 

As we reach the final track in the set, Uli John Roth once again has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand as he plays ‘The Sails of Charon’. This is one of his most familiar songs from his Scorpions’ days, with its catchy riffs which whisk you away to far flung lands.

 

With just 5 tracks, it seemed such a short set, and for anyone who has not seen this great man play before, it is over too soon. The audience show their appreciation for the talents, not only of the main man, but also his band who showed huge skills and talents in their support and enjoyment as they played with him.

 

Set List

Sky Overture

Sun In My Hand

We’ll Burn The Sky

Fly to the Rainbow

The Sails of Charon

 

Find out more fro Uli Jon Roth at the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Uli-Jon-Roth-26843841074/

Website: http://www.ulijonroth.com/

 

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After a short break while the stage is cleared and reset, John Petrucci appears to a very warm welcome from the Bristol audience. His style of music is very different  - where Roth was graceful and enchanting, John Petrucci brings a heavier style. He tells the audience that he is there to bring a rock section to the show.

 

The big muscular man opens his set with ‘Wrath of The Amazons’, which he leads straight into ‘Jaws of Life’. Both tracks are powerful and aggressive, in complete contrast to the earlier set.

 

After a brief chat to the audience, he takes us into ’Happy Song’, which is a really upbeat track. As he takes to one knee to play, it seems as though he is playing to an individual in the front row. As with many exceedingly skilled guitarists, his fingers are a blur as his complex compositions flow from his strings.

 

Before moving into the next track, he takes time to talk to the audience, thanking us for coming out, and telling us that this was his 8th G3 tour and he has had so much fun. We can see that he is enjoying himself as he begins ‘Damage Control’ which is a heavier track. Petrucci shows immense skill and allows Dave LaRue on bass to show off his talent with a mean bass solo and he also takes the time to introduce fellow Dream Theater member, Mike Mangini on drums who also demonstrated his skill behind the kit.

 

The penultimate track, ’Glassy Eyed Zombies’ which is not found on any of his records, demonstrates more of his technical mastery of the guitar which seems almost to be a part of him. The set draws to a close with ‘Glasgow Kiss’ with its Celtic undertones. Again, the audience, many of them on their feet, show their appreciation of a set which displayed to us just how much talent this man and his small band have.

 

Set List

Wrath of The Amazons

Jaws of Life

Happy Song

Damage Control

Glassy Eyed Zombies

Glasgow Kiss

 

Find out more from John Petrucci at the following links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johnpetrucciFB/

Website: http://johnpetrucci.com/

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO INFO@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

The last performance of the evening is the architect of the G3 phenomenon Joe Satriani, taking to the stage with his customary sunglasses and almost permanent grin. As usual, he is joined by his long standing friends and musicians, Mike Keneally on guitar and keyboards (yes he does sometimes play them both at the same time), Brian Beller on bass and the newest member Joe Travers on drums. The relationships between them is visible as they exchange looks and smiles - an almost unwritten language of connection.

 

Concentrating on his latest album ‘What Happens Next’ in the first part of the set, sporting his chrome guitar from the album artwork, Satriani Explodes into action with the aptly titled ‘Energy’. The fun and stompy ‘Catbot’, then fan favourite ‘Satch Boogie’ leads into the beautifully complex and serene ‘Cherry Blossoms’, which is met by gasps of delight as he announces it.

 

The screen behind Joe shows scenes and video which are perfectly complimentary to his songs, and as he moves on to play ‘Thunder High on The Mountain’ he begins with a convincing thunder storm effect from his guitar, we see scenes of angry storms which complete the show.

 

With the energy still high, we are treated to ’Super Funky Badass’ which has Satriani and Keneally sparring off each other with some fantastic dual guitar playing, with Joe allowing Mike to take the lead and demonstrate that he also has amazing skill, with Beller playing bass behind the keyboard the band show that it is teamwork that makes them such a success.

 

The final part of the set comprised of three classic Satriani tracks, ‘Circles’, ‘Always With Me, Always with You’ where the guitar seems to sing the words and the always mood lightening ‘Summersong’, the set draws to a close. The crowd lapped these three songs up and it seems that Joe never tires of playing these tracks which mean so much to so many people.

 

Set List

Energy

Catbot

Satch Boogie

Cherry Blossoms

Thunder High on the Mountians

Super Funky Badass

Circle

Always With Me, Always With You

Summer Song

 

Check out more from Joe Satriani at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joesatriani/

Website: http://www.satriani.com/

 

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With no break, Joe summons the audience to demand that Uli Jon Roth and John Petrucci return to join him back on stage - joking that Petrucci is probably still ‘combing his beard’ for the finale which is an extended jam session of three great classics of different eras of modern rock music. Niklas Turmann picks vocals again for ‘Highway Star’, as the three stars of the show work together with mutual respect and admiration to bring a unique version of the track. Niklas steps into the shadows as the three men play a trio, rather than a solo which is longer and different to the one Deep Purple recorded all those years ago.

 

’All Along The Watchtower’ is a huge classic that only the bravest and most talented guitarists dare to cover in public, and rarely is it given the justice it deserves. Tonight was one of those nights, with Uli Jon Roth providing beautiful and haunting vocals.

 

The final song in the ‘Mash Up’ was Led Zep’s ‘Immigrant Song’. Once again, Turmann takes the vocals, and delivers them with powerful perfection. With his usual unassuming style, Joe hands off his guitar to Turmann, giving him the spotlight, while he picks up a stray tambourine. As the guitar is returned to him, there is a smile of humbleness and thanks as Satriani continues with the track.

 

There was a noticeable difference in style from the 3 guitarists. Roth delicate and light, Petrucci muscular and powerful and Satriani with his mastery of tone and technique. Not one of these musicians trying to outshine the other, no ego’s just a perfect demonstration of their craft.

 

The standing ovation at the end of the show was well deserved as this was a truly special night.

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO INFO@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

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