Joe Satriani with guest The Matt Schofield Trio
The Royal Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
June 11, 2013
It is a source of constant amazement that those who pay for a ticket for Rock gig miss out on the support act to spend time in the bar. Those who missed Blues guitarist and singer Matt Schofield, Jonny Henderson (keyboards) and Evan Jenkin (drums) supporting Joe Satriani should take note: They missed something extra special as the British Blues Awards Guitarist of the year for past three years ripped The Philharmonic Hall apart with a gutsy performance filled with Gary Moore standard playing that set the tone for what was to prove to be an incredible night of music.
Not only did Schofield manage to keep the few who bothered to show up early just how great a showman he is – particularly on Shipwrecked Baby – he also managed to hold them in the palm of his hand for the duration of his 45 minute set. Make no mistake, if this guy is ever playing in a hall near you, move heaven and earth to get tickets to see him play a full set, as this guy was a worthy forerunner to the legend that is Joe Satriani.
From first to last, Satch delivered a faultless set of over two hours which included old favourites such as Satch Boogie, Always With You, Always With Me and Surfing With The Alien, whilst also incorporating songs from his latest, arguably most potent album – Unstoppable Momentum – with a mix of style, panache and bravado that is jaw dropping in its execution.
Dressed from head-to-toe in black and replete with obligatory RayBans, Ibanez guitars, more pedals than Halfords and bald head which glittered beneath the array of lights, Satriani set about his collection of chosen pieces like a starving man let loose at a Royal banquet, with the fun of The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing and Three Sheets To The Wind being juxtaposed with the sheer beauty of I’ll Put A Stone On Your Cairn and Flying In A Blue Dream.
Backed by three musicians of their own considerable talent - Mike Keneally (keyboards), Marco Minnemann (drums) and Bryan Beller (bass) – the quartet Rocked the hall and a near sell-out audience with an exhibition of some of the finest Rock music out there, with Keneally often times duelling with the master and keeping pretty good pace too.
The choppy licks of Lies and Truth, soon gave way to Shine On American Dreamer, both from the new album but both played with more verve, vigour and dynamism that had the crowd transfixed. Indeed, regaling us with the story behind Jumping In – and the manner in which he had ever forgotten he’d written it until tidying up his PC files and “rediscovering it – only serves to underline his genius.
This was a night of heady Rock and Blues that will live long in the memory and will go down as a privilege and an honour to in attendance.
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