October 1, 2013

Concert Review: Joe Satriani and Steve Morse Live In Concert At The Orpheum In Boston, Mass.

September 27, 2013

It was a beautiful fall night in Boston on Friday night and for this concert goer it was a “bucket list” dream come true. I have been following Joe Satriani since the 80s when he first started releasing his music. Since that time his catalog his grown immensely and he is widely known as one of the greatest instrumental rock artist in the world.

Joe’s band consists of Marco Minnemann (drums), Bryan Beller (bass) and Mike Keneally (keyboards, guitar). All are veterans of the music business and Minnemann has been in the spotlight over the last few years coming close to getting the job replacing Mike Portnoy in Dream Theater and most recently putting out an all instrumental recording with Jordan Rudess and Tony Levin titled LMR. Keneally has been around forever it seems popping up on many different progressive rock releases and his own recordings under different headings. Bryan Beller is known for his work with Dethklok, Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, James LaBrie of Dream Theater and Dweezil Zappa and The Aristocrats. So needless to say Satch has one stellar crew to back him up and the proved it on this night why he handpicked them to hit the road and play all his music.

Our seats were one row in back of the orchestra pit and I was dead center with the stage. There was one problem with this seating arrangement, I had people walking in front of me all night so I felt like I was at a Red Sox game prior to them cutting off all the beer taps. For the most part during Satch’s performance our sight of the stage was unimpeded and the surprisingly subdued crowd remained in their seats.

Before the six-string legend came on stage we had the pleasure of watching another guitar legend in action. Steve Morse and his band entertained us with their own brand of instrumental rock. Morse can choose from a wide range of music he has been involved with over the years including The Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, Kansas, many outstanding solo releases, and most recently with the incredible super group Flying Colors. His former band mate from the Dregs joined him, the phenomenal bass player Dave LaRue who most recently was a member of Flying Colors with Morse as well. I cannot seem to find out any information about his drummer, who was exceptional all through the set. The set was short but powerful and impressive. For a trio they certainly pushed out some sound and it was all spot on. Morse is the consummate professional and so are the people supporting him. He made his way through around seven songs then thanked everyone for supporting live music and left the stage, It seemed like such an abrupt ending to a show for a man that has graced the stages of the world and put out so much great music over the years but I understand when you are the opening act your time is limited.

After about a 15 minute break the star of the evening came on. Satch can play the guitar so effortlessly and flawlessly he never even draws a bead of sweat on his brow. He looks so relaxed and in control. If you ever want to see a great rock show performed live and you enjoy loud instrumental rock then this will be your ticket to paradise.

“Jumpin’ In” kicked things off with an in your face rockin’ welcome and from that point the energy increased with each song. Favorites of the night included “Satch Boogie,”  Marco’s drum solo, “Shine On American Dreamer” and the classic “Surfing with the Alien.” During Marco’s drum solo several people left their seats for one reason or another. I found myself sitting there is disbelief. They have no idea what they were missing. This man is one of the greatest percussionist on the planet and he gave us quit a clinic to witness. It was very disrespectful in my opinion.

Joe plays several different guitars but the orange Ibanez is his favorite and seems to mold right to hands and body perfectly, like it’s an actual extension of him and all of his emotions are played through his music without words. His music is so powerful and picturesque that words are not required. Some of the backdrops to his songs are very creative featuring colorful videos and wild effects. It is not a lot of flash and fireworks, that all comes from Joe’s guitar. I have to also give a nod to Mike Keneally who can hold his own with the six string and there were some nice exchanges between him and Joe during the set.

The most significant moment was when “Surfing With The Alien” was played and everyone knew that was the last song in the set so we all stood up and screamed and hollered for an encore which Satch kindly obliged us with.

If you ever get a chance to catch a show at the Orpheum in Boston, do it. Get there early enough to get a good meal at the Beantown Pub and then walk it off at Quincy Market, which is a 10 minute stroll, and make sure you stop at Newbury Comics to pick up some CDs!


Jumpin' In

Devil's Slide

Flying in a Blue Dream

Unstoppable Momentum

The Weight of the World

Ice 9

The Crush of Love

I'll Put a Stone on Your Cairn

A Door into Summer

Lies and Truths

Satch Boogie

Shine On American Dreamer

Three Sheets to the Wind


Drum Solo

Time Machine

Always with Me, Always with You

Surfing with the Alien


Crowd Chant

Summer Song

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-Founder MuzikReviews.com

October 1, 2013


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