When it comes to judging musicians these days I can honestly say that 90% of the time my final judgment rests on the live performance. To me a musician cannot be great or even competent unless they can perform live. Prior to the approaching date of Joe Satriani’s NYC show I would watch live videos caught by fans throughout his European shows earlier this year, and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. I can never really stand solo artists because to me it doesn’t seem like they do anything special, but Mr. Satriani’s talents as a guitarist would just feel constrained if it had to conform to the typical band format.
I headed to the Best Buy Theater (previously known as the Nokia Theater) in Time Square and upon arrival I learned that the gig had turned into a seating show. I was hoping for a more up close and personal shoot with the legendary guitarist but I decided not to allow this to ruin the evening. I was shown to the balcony area and snapped away at the opening band, Ned Evett and Triple Double. Never before have I heard of them but they definitely kept the crowd pleased, especially with their rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”
The stage began to fill with smoke and a shrill from an orange Ibanez swiftly filled the venue. Satriani became visible and the smile on his face caused the entire venue to erupt in applause. His band were not shy themselves, especially the bass player who seemed to be contesting with Satriani for the most cheers from the crowd. The night was comprised of a lot of tracks from Satriani’s most recent album “Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards” and it seemed to be a unanimous decision amongst the crowd that hearing the tracks live ultimately proved what a talented musician Joe Satriani really is.
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