JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

July 10, 2014
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Dave Gray
Photos by Fabien Castro

Yngwie Malmsteen

Guitar Gods, A Rock And Roll Religious Experience

Yngwie Malmsteen/Gary Hoey/Bumblefoot

Okay, it's official. The greatest guitar player in the world is Yngwie J. Malmsteen. OK, maybe not, but he might be the fastest in the world, or perhaps the loudest. When the curtains rise and the first thing you see is 10 stacks of Marshall amps on the stage, you know you are in for quite a show. And Yngwie is quite the showman.

And Dallas ' House of Blues is quite the showroom. The Guitar Gods Tour 2014 arrived here tonight and for 3 hours, wannabe guitar gods witnessed speed guitar greatness. Opening the set with "Rising Force" and segueing into the title track of his latest CD "Spellbound," he captured, and then commanded the audience's attention throughout the show. We all know he can play guitar, but to couple that with brilliant speed, classical chops, and guitar theatrics is something to see and hear. Some of the highlights of the night, in my opinion, were "Dreaming (Tell Me)," "The Seventh Sign," "Heaven Tonight," and "I'll See the Light Tonight." Although Yngwie is a great instrumental artist, I seem to enjoy the tracks with lyrical content as well (Maybe it's just my old MTV Headbanger's Ball ghosts reaching out).

At age 51, onstage, Yngwie looked better than ever. I first saw Yngwie about 20 years ago at The Basement in Dallas , and back then he was kicking cigarettes in air while playing. Now, the only smoke you see onstage is from the fog machines, as he has given up smoking. The sound and lights also were better than ever. No video visuals here tonight, just perhaps the world's fastest classical acoustic & electrical guitar player at his best. Guitar players, watching Yngwie perform "Fugue" in front of a blue fog and those aforementioned Marshall amps is really something to behold.

Two other great guitarists graced the HOB stage as well. Gary Hoey performed for about 45 minutes, playing tunes from his new CD Déjá Blues. Highlights were "Going Down," "Born Under a Bad Sign," and of course Focus' "Hocus Pocus." Opening the night was the very humble Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, the current guitarist for Guns 'N' Roses. His set opened with "Abnormal" and concluded with "Dash" in which during the end of the song, he walked offstage and onto the floor with the fans, guitar in tow, and finished the song while posing for pics with us, the guitar nuts. All in all, it was a great night for the eyes and ears. Now, if I could just slow the tape down to 11 and figure out how it's done.