Guitar legend JOE SATRIANI blew the dust from the rafters at the historic Majestic Theater in the heart of downtown Dallas on March 9, 2016. SATRIANI surfed in with his multiple Ibanez axes and band of brothers consisting of Bryan Beller (bass), Marco Minnemann (drums) and last and certainly not least, Mike Keneally (keyboard and guitar). Perhaps the best Ibanez player on the planet, SATRIANI and crew brought 25 new and legendary songs with them to astonish the packed crowd. Dallas was one stop on their 45-city, Surfing to Shockwave Tour.
Celebrating 30 years of uptown musical fantasy, Satch and Company slid into Dallas on a chilly and rainy evening. Warming up the Majestic did not take long. Pulling out eight of his fifteen new tracks from latest release Shockwave Supernova they interwove 17 additional tunes from the past, including one from his very early days “Not of This Earth” from 1986. Beginning with the title track from Shockwave, Satch sported an aluminum silver jacket and futuristic painted six string and gave the audience the kick in the teeth they had been waiting for. Transitioning into “Flying in a Blue Dream”, the boys put the crowd under their spell with this mesmerizing number.
From there, the guys teleported back and forth in time shifting between albums from Surfing With the Alien (1987), to Crystal Planet (1998) to Not of This Earth (1986) and back to the Shockwave Supernova (2015) LP. With so many options to pick from, if you were a dedicated Satch fan, the set list would keep you guessing what trip in time you would next experience.
Not only can these guys put it out there, they can pull it in and sooth the soul just as easily. With numbers like “Friends”, “If I Could Fly”, “Butterfly and Zebra”.”Goodbye Supernova” and “Lost in a Memory”, if one closes their eyes and feels their inner middle aged soul getting lost in the melody you will uncontrollably sway to the beat. A mental trip like only astonishing, copasetic ballads can create.
Spacey “Time”, “Cataclysmic” and “Crazy Joey” swirl your mind with colorful images leaving you astounded over what SATRIANI can create with six strings and a few effects. Masterful. A cool moment was when Satch and Keneally exchanged a question and answer session on “God is Crying”. The evening was not shy of all out jam sessions by the guys, including a drum solo by Minneman and keyboard assemblage by Keneally. The band also brought out the tried and true butt kickers like “Summer Song”, “Satch Boogie”, “Big Bad Moon” and “Surfing with the Alien”. Ya gotta have the favorites.
Needless to say the show is tastefully done. Not too loud, not monotonous, not showy, just total class. Satch is a mystery himself. One never knows what he will be wearing or jamming on from one tune to the next. His final songs were punctuated by a custom Ibanez sporting a Surfing With the Alien album cover paint job. Really great fun, not overblown, not exhausting, just satisfying. Dug it. Way cool, Daddy-O…Salude’.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MARK EHRLICH