Joe Satriani Celebrates Surfing to Shockwave in St. Paul
If you were to value a concert based on the number of musical notes played per hour, Joe Satriani would absolutely top the list on delivering the most “bang for your buck”. The highly accomplished solo Rock guitarist brought his Surfing to Shockwave 2016 tour to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, MN on April 16th. It has the appearance of a greatest hits style show, but is unique in how the song selection takes you on a journey through Satriani’s creative development as he recorded 15 solo albums over the past 30 years. For this outing, his uber-talented touring band plays a significant role in bringing this material to life with a healthy dose of “wow-factor”. Splitting time between keys and guitar, longtime collaborator Mike Keneally’s best moments happened while harmonizing technical solo runs on guitar standing toe to toe with Joe. Bryan Beller handily commanded his Bass to lay the foundation in conjunction with the rapid fire drum stylings pounded out by the seemingly boundless Marco Minnemann. The Fitzgerald was the right choice for this show and provided a good and consistent mix throughout. The exceptional fan turnout was no surprise considering it’s been years since we’ve had an opportunity to see a traditional Satriani show in MN (despite his role in the 2009 & 2012 Chickenfoot appearances). It was satisfying to be part of an audience that was engaged with rumbling applause between songs that aided in fueling the 2+ hour performance.
Satriani wore the usual black t-shirt and jeans with some futuristic looking high-tops and a flashy silver jacket that tied in nicely with the look and feel of the current project. Fittingly, he used Shockwave Supernova as the performance launch-pad and transitioned nicely into one of my favorites, Flying in a Blue Dream. Joe remarked, “Playing all these songs in one set is crazy, brings up all the memories that go along with how they came to be.” He graciously dedicated the feel good Friends to all those in attendance, which was well received. The whimsical Butterfly and Zebra was an unexpected standout allowing for a more concentrated listen as one of the less common down tempo moments. In great contrast, the hard driving Summer Song was a smart choice heading into a short intermission leaving fans on a high and wanting more. The back half of the show started out with Crazy Joe and contained some of Satriani’s biggest hits;Always With Me, Always With You and Satch Boogie. Joe even went the extra mile returning to the stage for a 2 song encore wearing a personalized Minnesota Wild jersey and playing a custom painted Surfing with the Alien guitar.
1: Shockwave Supernova, Flying on a Blue Dream, Ice 9, Crystal Planet, Not of this Earth, On Peregrine Wings, Friends, Time, If I Could Fly, Butterfly and Zebra, Cataclysmic, Summer Song
2: Crazy Joe, Lost in a Memory, Luminous Flesh Giants, Always With Me Always With You, God is Crying, If There is no Heaven, Goodbye Supernova, Satch Boogie
Encore: Big Bad Moon, Surfing With the Alien
Photos and review by Patrick Dunn!