March 12, 2016
The Palace Theater
Grapevine, TX USA
Review by Tim Taylor
Photos by Terry Walsh
The Alien Surfs Into The Majestic!
I'm speechless. Joe Satriani brought his band of merry men into Dallas on a rainy Wednesday night and performed to a sold out crowd at Dallas' Majestic Theater. The guitarist extraordinaire titled the tour "Surfing to Supernova" and tried to fit in his two and half hour set some of the 30+ years instrumental tracks that made him the guitar superhero that he is, if not the greatest rock guitarist of our time.
Entering the stage in his silver surfer jacket and black shades, ironically, the set began with "Shockwave Supernova," the title cut on the latest CD. This song set the tone for the remainder of the evening. Exceptionally talented musicians, cool red and blue LED lights, and moving video background tapestries only added to the experience of seeing the humble showman at work.
He worked seven or eight of the new cuts into the set, sliding them in between some of the MTV and radio hits from the past. The new CD is really addictive and the musicians on this tour are again top-notch. Mike Keneally's keyboard skills provide a perfect audio layer for Joe's six-string theatrics. Drummer Marco Minnemann performed a ten minute drum solo after a brief intermission, and it may have been the best drum solo that I have seen in years.
Bryan Beller provided the bass thump and showed his skill by mimicking Joe's guitar licks during "God Is Crying." "If There Is No Heaven," "On Peregrine Wings," and "Cataclysmic" are fast moving cuts from the new record that are similar to the custom Satriani style, while "Butterfly And Zebra," and "Lost in a Memory" are emotional, instrumental tracks that made me again realize that Joe is the master of making the guitar talk, without saying a word.
As to not be a total spoiler, the hits "Satch Boogie," "Friends," and "Summer Song" were some of the hits that were on full display tonight and ironically (again) the last song of the night was "Surfing with the Alien," which was performed to a standing, much appreciative audience.
I have seen Joe Satriani several times; the Flying in a Blue Dream tour and several G3 tours, but never have seen Joe in a production like this before. First of all, the venue was incredible. The 95 year-old Majestic theater is a Dallas landmark and inside, it's a gem. Comfy seats, Corinthian columns, old luxury, make you think that perhaps a king or queen is sitting upstairs in the court. The aforementioned stage set, visuals and song selection were the best I've ever seen and heard at a Satriani show, very easy on the eyes and the mix was audibly perfect, like a great movie. Need I say more?