March 26, 2016
By Patrick Moreau
What is there to do at the Boston Common on a Saturday night; I mean after spending the day walking up and down the Common, visiting the local coffee shops, and taking a Freedom Trail tour? You can either go to the Boston Ballet at the Opera House or you can go see Joe Satriani at the Orpheum Theater. You can meet a lot of women at the ballet, but that would mean sitting through a ballet performance. I saw Joe Satriani instead.
Mr. Satriani's latest tour is called From Surfing To Shockwave where he and his band are doing double duty. On one hand, it's a retrospective tour of his past LP's (30 years in rock), but includes songs from his latest Shockwave Supernova. Satriani is probably best known for Surfing With The Alien. It's a hard rock instrumental album that was actually played on the radio and MTV in it's heyday. In fact, the music has been used in many media. For example, when Sony wanted to promote their new CD Walkman (remember those!) this was the music they used.
Mr. "Satch Boogie" came on the stage himself and started the show with "Shockwave Supernova". The place was rocking and nobody was talking because he and the guys wasted no time getting the place moving. Wearing a shiny silver jacket, Satriani was the master of ceremonies. He and the band went from new to old material with ease. Joe Satriani plays hard rock with a melody and makes no apologies about it. You will not find his music in the adult easy listening section.
One thing that surprised me was the "live" feel to the show. Back in the day every time I saw Satch on TV he always seemed to be playing by himself with tape machines. It's a bit like karaoke with guitar, unless he was playing in G3, of course. I wish I knew about this before because the band rocked.
Speaking of his band, they were just great. Mr. Satriani is joined by Mike Keneally, who plays keyboards and a mean guitar. Marco Minnemann was on drums, and Bryan Beller on bass. Playing instrumental music can be a lot harder than playing in a pop band because you have no vocals to guide you. It's very easy to get lost in a song and never come back. Think of Alice when she goes down the rabbit hole. These guys were not only good enough to keep up with Joe, but were able to jam with him. Isn't that what live music all about? The live moment that you cannot capture on your iPod.
Another thing I was surprised about was Mr. Satriani's presence on stage. No, not his incredible guitar ability. It goes without saying he is one of the best of all time and he is still on top of his game. What surprised me was his speaking voice. He spoke in a very down to earth manner, and seemed very happy that we came to see him and his band. He told us stories about some of his songs (mostly the new ones) and seemed very sincere, which is very un-rock n' roll.
Joe Satriani played over 2 hours of wonderful music. He played a lot from Shockwave Supernova, but he ended his second set with "Satch Boogie". For the encore, he ended the night with the ever awesome "Surfing With The Alien". It was a great show. If you get a chance to catch Joe Satriani, you won't regret it.
Flying in a Blue Dream
Not of This Earth
On Peregrine Wings
If I Could Fly
Butterfly and Zebra
Set 2: Drum Solo
Lost in a Memory
Luminous Flesh Giants
Always With Me, Always With You
God Is Crying
If There Is No Heaven
Big Bad Moon
Surfing With the Alien
A special shout out to my good friend Radde Boskovic for scoring great seats! We were 9th row center in the orchestra!!
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