Venturing into a career in instrumental hard rock might be something (when done well) one gets thirteen Grammy nominations for without receiving even a single one of those awards, however while doing so Joe Satriani has expanded the definition of what it means to be a guitar player over the course of his thirty year career.
It’s with his retrospective ‘Surfing Through Shockwave‘ tour that Satch has been touring the world, performing songs both well known and less celebrated, with his technical precision and unique approach to the six strings.
Even though it was, to some extent, a nostalgic tour revisiting songs from each of Satriani’s solo albums, the guitarist was still moving in full support of his latest studio release ‘Shockwave Supernova.’ While Satriani expressed strong interest in starting out the show with one of the songs from his new album when we spoke in our exclusive interview, it was entirely exciting to hear the title track “Shockwave Supernova” come crashing out to start off the set, with Satriani donning a metallic jacket for the futuristic anthem.
Satch moved right into his classic “Flying Through Blue Dream” before digging out “Ice 9” from the celebrated 1987 album ‘Surfing With the Alien’ and the title track off of 1998’s ‘Crystal Planet.’ Making the most of his retrospective evening, which showed Satch playing before a packed crowd as headliner with no opening act and two sets plus encore, Satriani then offered rowdy renditions of “Not of This Earth,” the title track from his debut record released back in 1986, and another exceptional new number “On Peregrine Wings.”
Twenty-three tracks were crammed into this double helping of engaging hard rock, although Satch himself didn’t shy away from embracing elements outside of the rock spectrum with the psychedelic “Butterfly and Zebra” and the moderately reggae-esque “Crazy Joey.” While the bulk of the tracks didn’t have vocals, there was a theme tying together portions of the set; for example, setting “God Is Crying” alongside the atmospheric “What If There Is No Heaven,” and opening the show with “Shockwave Supernova” and concluding with “Goodbye Supernova.”
The largely inactive crowd did jump to their feet on several occasions, and were exactly the same occasions that one would expect: the greatest hits. Fierce takes on “Summer Song” and “Satch Boogie,” which respectively rounded out the first and second sets, inspired the seated portions of the Hard Rock to get up and make some noise. The blues rock live staple “Big Bad Moon,” where Joe steps up and offers gritty lead vocals, didn’t get the response one expected but did get casual fans guessing for the last cut of the night: “Surfing With the Alien.”
The supporting lineup with Joe Satriani on this ‘Shockwave to Supernova’ trek is the same that performed on his ‘Shockwave Supernova’ album (Mike Keneally on keyboards and additional guitar, Marco Minnemann on drums, Bryan Beller on bass). Not coincidentally, it’s likely the most hefty lineup that’s been on the road with Satch in some time, as each member offered some impressive solos over the course of the night, with Keneally even stepping out for some leads on occasion. A great show to witness from one of the standing veterans of instrumental guitar.
Joe Satriani Setlist 3.18.16 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
Flying in a Blue Dream
Not of This Earth
On Peregrine Wings
If I Could Fly
Butterfly and Zebra
Lost in a Memory
Luminous Flesh Giants
Always With Me, Always With You
God Is Crying
If There Is No Heaven
Big Bad Moon
Surfing With the Alien