G3 made its way to a packed show in Las Vegas at the Brooklyn Bowl this week - a concert tour featuring Joe Satriani and his traveling act of amazing guitarists, each perform separately and then all join together for a jam at the end of the show. The G3 tour, as you may or may not know, has been in existence for a few years now and Satriani has always headlined, but shuffled in different well known guitarists who could handle the instrumental style of play fro each tour. The G3 line-up made its way to the Brooklyn Bowl on January 17th and what an impressive line-up! In addition to Joe Satriani, who some argue is the greatest instrumental guitarist ever, the crowd was treated to two other phenomenal guitarists - John Petrucci of Dream Theater and Phil Collen of Def Leppard.
The night started off with Def Leppard Guitarist Phil Collen and his new band The Delta Deep. I wasn’t too sure how Phil Collen was going to fit on this bill considering he is more known for his work in the pop rock area than classic guitar instrumentals, but I could not have been more pleasantly surprised. Collen was joined by Robert DeLeo from the Stone Temple Pilots on bass and by former Gregory Hines back-up singer Debbi Blackwell-Cook on vocals. Collen was the only performer to use an actual vocalist on the show, and my oh my, what a powerhouse soul sound Debbi employs. The Delta Deep just gives off a blues vibe as soon as you say it, and blues was what this band was all about. I have to commend Collen for going out with this musical style, as it could not have been any more different than what you are accustomed to seeing him do with Def Leppard.
Second on the line-up was another one of the most technically sound guitarist in the business - John Petrucci and his three piece instrumental act. Petrucci seemed like a perfect choice for the G3 tour considering his progressive metal style from his work with Dream Theater, and fit with the instrumental style of the show. No vocalist was needed or missed in this set as Petrucci keep the crowd engaged and did give us a few words between songs. Petrucci even hit us with a cover of Hans Zimmer’s "Theme to Wonder Woman" to start the show!
As stated above, the headliner on the evening, Mr. Joe Satriani, Is argued by many to be the best instrumental guitarist of all time. I would argue that if he is not, he is definitely top 3 and probably the most well known. Satriani’s music styling has changed a bit over the years but his sound is un-mistakable. I feel like the biggest nod I can give to Joe Satriani on his work is it is hard to find another guitar player who has been able to create actual hits on both the radio and MTV with a total instrumental style of play. Songs like “Satch Boogie” and “Summer Song” take you straight back to the days when “Surfing with the Alien” came out and blew your mind while the new song, “Cherry Blossoms” seems like it could of fit as well back then as it does today.
After these three amazing guitarist finished up individual sets, the night still wasn’t done. If you have seen this tour before, you know that all three guitarist on the bill come back to jam together and sometimes there are special guests. Well there was a guest on this evening and you bet he was special, as Las Vegas’ own D.J. Ashba from Sixx A.M. took the stage along with the other three legends and Debbi Blackweel-Cook back on vocals. They joined forces for three encores this evening, covering Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”, Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and The Alabama State Trooper’s “Going Down” before finally leaving the stage. For those in the crowd who like technical guitar work, you probably couldn’t ask for or receive more!
Phil Collen - Photos: Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
John Petrucci - Photos: Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
Joe Satriani - Photos: Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
All Star Jam Finale - Photos: Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos