Live Review – Joe Satriani

Shockwave Supernova Tour with special guest Dan Patlansky

Nov 10 2015 @ Eventim Apollo Hammersmith

Joe Satriani ©Photo by Gili Dailes. All rights reserved

We arrived early to the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, just in time to settle comfortably as a blend of blues, grunge, and progressive rock background music filled the air, mildly hinting what awaits us tonight.

This majestic venue was supercharged with packs of heavy speakers and lighting rigs, and we expected no less from the production of this guitar-god’s show.

Supporting Joe Satriani on his Shockwave Supernova tour this autumn, on stage went the extremely talented South-African Dan Patlansky with his phenomenal band (Clint Falconer – Bass, Andy Maritz – Drums).

A powerful in-your-face blues freestyle instrumental intro got everyone’s immediate attention and slowly drifted into a soft, mellow creamy classic blues theme, showcasing Dan’s (and band) mastery of the elusive art of dynamic playing over the lows and peaks of this magical piece.

Dan Patlansky ©Photo by Gili Dailes. All rights reserved

It seemed like the lighting operator was yet to join the show at this point, as the stage remained lid with a static blueish hue throughout Dan’s 40 minutes set.

Performing songs from his new album, Intro-Vertigo (in stores April ’16), Dan danced around various styles: from groovy funky riffs to the edges of heavy rock materials- but you could distinctly hear the blues in every riff, phrase or bending note.

Hendrix and Stevie-Ray-Vaughan’s influences were very apparent in his playing, but just enough to allow him to still sound unique and bring something of his own, something that the world of guitar is short of nowadays.

By the end of this truly exquisite performance, Dan had released his guitar from the confiding shoulder strap grip, held it on his palm - like a platter of delicious, fresh notes waiting to be picked, and demonstrated his control over it using his other hand. He then proceeded into the big finale - accurately playing saturated overdriven feedbacks, toying with them by bending, jigging and jerking the whammy bar with passionate conviction.

Dan Patlansky ©Photo by Gili Dailes. All rights reserved

Dan is going to be back in London on December 5th @ The Borderline, with support from Aaron Keylock.

We highly recommend that you go and see him if you have a chance!

Joe Satriani - Shockwave Supernova

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Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” last notes were still playing in the background, as the lights began to dim - and we knew something special was about to take place.

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A psychedelic, futuristic, post novo-art video started playing on the back of the stage with matching ambient jibber-jabber, and cinematic grade ultra-sub bass sounds on the bottom end - it already felt like how you would imagine stepping close a “Shockwave Supernova” would feel like.

Being the name of Satriani’s new album promoted on this tour, production already got us into the right mind-set.

Joe Satriani ©Photo by Gili Dailes. All rights reserved

Without further ado, Joe’s beast of a band started playing - and very quickly it was clear to all that the phenomenon called Joe Satriani is sharing the stage with 3 other genius musicians.

Between Satriani’s lightning-fast shreds, innovative multi-scale phrases, overtone squealing bends and astonishing guitar playing technique(s), we were lucky to enjoy:

  • Dethklok bassist Bryan Beller, who is no stranger to playing with progressive artists at this magnitude (Steve Vai, The Aristocrats, Dream Theater and Dweezil Zappa, to name a few), dominated the uber-complex parts without blinking, and showcased top class versatility and virtuosity, whilst keeping a tight, cool, badass metal look and idiom.

  • Legendary drummer Marco Minnemann was the perfectly tuned driving force behind this monster. Mostly he played a “spot-on-exactly-what-this-piece-needs-right-now” role, but you could really feel it when his “Metal prowess” came to life - and double bass-drum kicks started shooting into the air like a heavy machine-gun, making everything sound just a little bit over-the-edge better. His mid-show drum solo was inspiring to say the least, if not breath-taking, as he started to extend his rhythmic motifs beyond the drums, onto the overhead microphones, and at some point he managed to play with the drumsticks - on the drumsticks - using – you guessed it- the drumsticks.

  • Progressive-rock multi-instrumentalist composer and overall genius Mike Keneally played guitars and keyboards, often in the same time(!). His tools of the trade in the Guitars department were a couple of Gibson SGs, and Fender Starts - and their traditional sound and looks complemented beautifully with Joe’s crazy, futuristic Ibanez models. Mike stepped up into the spotlight for a flaming guitar solo as well, and I’m sure you’ll find scorching marks where he stood on stage, if you looked closely at it.

To top it all up - we had Joe Satriani of course, leading this trip with an endless ocean of creativity.

Joe Satriani ©Photo by Gili Dailes. All rights reserved

Backed up by years of being a founding father to progressive rock lead guitar playing, he still manages to somehow be one step ahead, find the next sound and remain one of the most innovative players and composers in this scene.

Tonight he was full on. Shredding everything we thought we knew about music to dust, this hard to follow enigma was walking around the stage with panther-like moves, and showed us everything there is to know above and beyond the guitar.

At several points throughout the night, Joe demonstrated his teeth-playing techniques, as well as his wah-wahing skills and his famous JS signature moves on the guitar.

Apart from the exceptional performance by Joe and his band, one other thing that got our special attention was the video art clips that decorated the back of the stage throughout the show.

The visual art worked wonderfully with most of the songs, but some choices seemed very random: pictures of an old couple holding hands, live footage of Joe playing past concerts (that naturally didn’t sync up with what he was playing on stage- which was a bit confusing) and at some point there was even a picture of a tiny mouse sitting on a dog’s head, and we couldn’t help but wonder…

Joe Satriani ©Photo by Gili Dailes. All rights reserved

Joe saved the best for last, finishing off with ‘Surfing with the Alien’- the one in which for the first time in his 2 hour set- he’s also singing, as well as rocking an impressive solo on the harmonica.

No one at the Apollo Hammersmith remained seated at this point, and it seemed like it was the best way to end a successful tour.

To conclude:

If you’re not sure what to expect from a full on instrumental show - worry not!

The songs melodies and overall performance are so compelling, they make you understand what they’re about, even without lyrics.

Joe got the audience hooked on every note he played, and all words were rendered redundant.

Both artists presented their dreamy talents with top-notch skills, and left us deeply impressed. So much, in fact- that we'd like to recomment you to go and watch Joe Satriani and Dan Patlansky live, at the first opportunity you've got.

Words: Nanneq, Gili Dailes

Photos by: Gili Dailes

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Concert photography and music reviews in Brighton and London by Gili Dailes. A contributing photographer and writer at Gig Junkies, Brighton Source, Art Noise Events, The Photos Ladies and Highlight Magazine.

© Gili Dailes 2015-2020 All rights reserved. Do not reuse photos without permission  

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