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Julian's Blog

About my Blog

I am a Session Drummer, Percussionist and Educator.

My Blog is about all things Drums and Music.
I do a bit of scuba diving and like Tech too, so you may find some stuff about this as well.

Who knows where this Blog will go!!

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Thanks for visiting and Enjoy reading.

Joe Satriani Shockwave Supernova Tour Review

Music Posted on Tue, November 03, 2015 21:53:35

Joe Satriani is currently on the UK leg of his “Shockwave Supernova” tour.

On Sunday November 1st, the tour arrived at the O2 Apollo in Manchester.

Support was provided by South African guitarist Dan Patlansky. Dan performed tracks from his album which was a blend of blues/rock. Listening, I thought I could hear occassional influences of (Jimmy) Hendrix and (John) Mayer. A great performance and one that I would certainly like to hear more of.

Once Dan had completed his set, the stage was reset. Then Joe Satriani and his band stepped out and gave a blistering performance for over 2 hours of musical and rhythmical genius.

With Marco Minnemann (drums), Mike Kenneally (guitar and keyboards) and Bryan Beller (bass guitar), the audience were treated to a smorgasboard of hits from across Satch’s impressive catalogue of albums.

Mike Kenneally‘s guitar and keyboards were very much impressive with Bryan Beller providing an equally impressive, solid, tight bass line while Marco Minnemann produced rhythmic delights with joy. And all complementing Joe Satriani‘s melodic brilliance superbly.

Opening with “Shockwave Supernova”, the title track from the new album, Satch then delighted listeners with “Flying in a Blue Dream” – the album currently celebrating its 16th birthday. These were quickly followed with “Ice 9”, “Crystal Planet” and “Not of this Earth”. Joe performed a beautiful version of “Butterfly and Zebra” which, for me, could have been a lot longer – nevertheless, it was lovely.

With Marco Minnemann on stage, there just had to be a drum solo – and what a drum solo it was too. I don’t want to appear biased in any way, but Marcos drum solo was incredible – a mixture of technical brilliance and musicality with a tiny pinch of humour here and there.

“Friends” (from The Extremist album), saw the video wall transformed into images of, well, friends!!! While during “Goodbye Supernova”, the visual whisked the audience away across snow capped mountains under the Northern Lights, while the audio delights were performed.

For the encore, “Big Bad Moon” was blasted out to the huge delight of the O2 Appollo crowd with “Surfing With the Alien” finally closing the show.

It would have been lovely to hear “A Door into Summer” and “Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing” – but that’s only because they are just two of my many favourites from the Satriani catalogue.

An amazing evening. Four brilliant musicians at the very top of their game. Catch them on their UK tour dates if you have chance – you’ll be in for a treat.

Set list from O2 Appollo, Manchester;

1. Shockwave Supernova; 2. Flying in a Blue Dream; 3. Ice 9; 4. Crystal Planet; 5. Not of this earth; 6. On Peregrines wings; 7. Friends; 8. Time; 9. If I Could Fly; 10. Butterfly And Zebra; 11. If There is No Heaven; 12. Cataclysmic; 13. Crazy Joey; 14. All Of My Life; 15. Luminous Flesh Giants; 16. Always with Me, Always with You; 17. God is Crying; 18. Goodbye Supernova; 19. Satch Boogie; Encore: 20. Big Bad Moon; 21. Surfing with the Alien

Shockwave Supernova – A musical journey

Music Posted on Tue, October 20, 2015 23:17:26

Shockwave Supernova is Joe Satriani’s 15th album – which he is currently touring at the time of writing this blog. The album was recorded at SkyWalker Studios with co-producer/engineer John Cuniberti at the helm and features the grooving Bryan Beller on bass, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Keneally and the mind-bending rhythms of Marco Minnemann on drums.

Joes’ albums never disappoint and Shockwave Supernova is no exception. Satriani’s brilliance shines through right from the opening title track with incredible compositions and story-telling – each track is a musical journey.

“On Peregrines Wings” is one such track. You’re moving through the sky, searching for the target, each moment of the flight being painted by in a musical story.

“Cataclysmic” has an Egyptian/Turkish atmosphere, complete with Finger-cymbals and Satch providing colourful melodies and solos. “San Francisco Blue” is a wonderful minor-key take on the blues feel, yet, even though in a minor key, remains floaty, lively, bright and fun.

A tighter-than-tight groove is delivered on “In My Pocket” – in the pocket more like, which it certainly is.

Of the fifteen tracks on this album, my favourite is the closing track “Goodbye Supernova”. A stand-out track for me, it moves through different time signatures. Even though its saying goodbye to the musical journey that we’ve just travelled, there is also a strange guitar re-birth with the track finishing out on the most beautiful solo.

Yet another fantastic album from Satch.

He’s playing live now – go catch him and be whisked away on this musical journey into your supernova

Unstoppable Momentum

Music Posted on Wed, October 07, 2015 23:15:35

Joe Satriani’s 2013 album “Unstoppable Momentum” is full on rock. The title of the album certainly is an apt description of the musical ride. Yes, I know I’m a bit behind and a bit late to the party, but I’ve only just got my mits on this album – and boy what an album it is!!

For this album, Satch is joined by Chris Channey (Jane’s Addiction) on bass, Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa) on keyboards and Vinnie Colaiuta (Jeff Beck, Sting, Chick Corea) on drums.

Satriani doesn’t hold back from the word go showing us the listener why he is the virtuoso that he is. As mentioned, on the drums for this album is the amazing Vinnie Colaiuta. Listening to the title track i thought, at the end of the track, something wasn’t quite right with disc. But no. Mr Colaiuta does some incredible, mind-bending things with time over Satch’s colourful melodies – just amazing.

One of my favourite tracks on the album is “Can’t Go Back”. A truly brilliant rock song with beautiful melodies and a very tight deep-in-the-pocket groove. You could certainly imagine yourself cruising along Pacific Highway 1, the sun setting and this monster blasting from the speakers of your drop-top

Another of my favourites is “A Door Into Summer”. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something about this track that brings a smile to my face each time I listen to it – I don’t know if its the melody, the simplicity of the song, the 4-on-the-floor solid groove or something else. But all I do know is, its brilliant!!!

“Three Sheets to the Wind” is a nice rock shuffle complete with a little humour in the form of a circus-esque brass section in the breakdown before the outro. Very cool.

There are loads of other blistering brilliant tracks on this album including “Shine On American Dreamer”, “Jumpin’ In” featuring some lovely funky bass, “The Weight of the World” and “A Celebration” to name but a few.

From the solid rhythm section to the singing guitar of Satch, there’s no denying that “Unstoppable Momentum” is yet another Satriani masterpiece. It will certainly be at the top of my playlist for a long time to come.