Every year the Dallas International Guitar Festival rolls into Dallas like clockwork and people flock from all over to see the exhibits of guitars and accessories, memorabilia and hear the live music by local and national artists. Usually, the last day of the event is less exciting as it is winding down after two blistering days but not this year as Day 3 was star studded and hosted by the infamous Eddie Trunk!
There were two outside stages of live music pumping tunes out on this windy but sunny day, but I will be focusing on The Sweetwater Stage which hosted the main cogs of the festival. Twisting the knobs and making the bands sound amazing was legendary sound man Lee Russell. When I arrived Texas Tornado and Texas legend Rocky Athas was gearing up for a sizzling set of blues and rock which featured tunes like "Looking Back" and "Best Life" and everyone seemed surprised when he brought up Jay Jay French from Twisted Sister on stage to jam a couple of blues classics.
Next up was Frank Hannon of Tesla and his solo band, and they belted out several Tesla classics starting with: "Coming At You Live", "Modern Day Cowboy", "What You Give'" and "Love Song" in which Frank handled the lead vocals masterfully! He and his band also played a rousing rendition of Thin Lizzy's "Boys Are Back In Town" and a killer original song called "Eye Of The Mind". Afterwards, Frank signed autographs and took pictures and even did a Q & A segment with Eddie Trunk where the crowd asked great questions and they answered them all!
Guitarist, composer, producer, and instructo and grammy-nominated for his new album, Deep: The Baritone Sessions, Vol.2, Mark Lettieri was sandwiched between Frank and John 5 and delivered a rousing set of guitar playing as the place got more crowded by the minute.
John 5 almost did not perform as his bass player was ill, but he still played with only a drummer like the true professional he is and it sounded great as he ripped through tunes like "666 Pickers in Hell, Ca.", "I Am John 5" and "How High The Moon" as well as a fantastic medley at the end of several popular songs everyone knew, He showed why he is now considered one of the top shredders around.
Last but not least was the maestro Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X) as he flawlessly ripped through his set with ease donning a cowboy hat. Highlights included instramental version of "Green Tinted Sixties Mind" and "Scarified" which ended with the fantastic ending of Stairway to Heaven. After the last notes had been heard and the last drop of sweat and beer had falling, it was a fact that another Dallas International Guitar Festival had been a huge success.