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April 30, 2000; 9:30 Club; Washington, DC; 04/30/00

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Hot on the heels of his most recent release, "Engines Of Creation," Joe Satriani has taken his ever-fascinating musical gems to the road to his faithful fans. As there was no opening act, the fans knew they were in for a treat - nothing but pure Satriani and nothing but pure Satriani.  Satriani, affording the luxury of not having to do a package tour, got to the stage early and wasted little time re-establishing his legendary status.

You know how they say "you haven't lived until you've done such-n-such" - well, if you like music you haven't lived until you've seen Joe Satriani play live. If there was ever a seamless melding of melodic ability and awe-inspiring technique Joe Satriani is the pinnacle of greatness. 

Joining Joe Satriani on this tour was Stu Hamm on the bass guitar, Eric Cardieux on keyboards and rhythm guitar, and Jeff Campetelli on drums. 

Starting off with the apocalyptic "Time," Satriani and his mates tore the roof of the 9:30 Club. The show continued with "Devil's Slide," "Satch Boogie," "Borg Sex," "Ice 9," "Cool #9," "The Crush Of Love," "Flying In A Blue Dream," "Ceremony," "Circles," "The Extremist," and "Summer Song." This great mix of old and new tunes was masterfully organized. I began to think to myself that there might be some recording going on for a future live disc. Remember - if a live disc happens out of the Satriani camp you heard it hear first!

It wouldn't have surprised me if the show had ended right there - the crowd had been enthralled by the performances so far. Yet, Satriani made an announcement that the band was taking a brief break and that the second set would get started soon. More Satriani? Oh yeah! 

The second started with "Down, Down, Down" and proceeded to melt into a seamless string of melodic gems including "Clouds Race Against The Sky," "Until We Say Goodbye," "Raspberry Jam Delta V," "Crystal Planet," "Love Thing," "Mr. Potato Head Groove Thing," "Train Of Angels," "One Big Rush," "Always With Me, Always With You," and "Big Bad Moon."

However, we all knew that there'd be some encores on the way and Joe and the gang didn't disappoint. The encores included positively uplifting "Friends," the signature "Surfing With The Alien," and the wonderfully understated "Rubina."

Satriani looked even more relaxed and happy than I've ever seen him.  He was really having fun on stage and appeared to be truly enjoying himself as he shredded his way into another great performance.

The sparsely decorated, yet futuristic looking stage set-up was in keeping with the sound and images provided on "Engines Of Creation."  The light show was simple yet effective by using a bank of rotating lights and simple smoke machines to create a myriad of color schemes and dispersion that fit the mood of the songs. 

Stu Hamm was as energetic and playful as I've ever seen him. Employing Eric Cardieux as a full-time rhythm guitarist/keyboardist really rounded out the songs and alone is plenty of evidence that the material this time around will be used for a live recording. Jeff Campetelli was solid on the drums throughout the evening. 

Viva Satriani!

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.