Joe Satriani

G3 Live in Denver

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The video G3 Live in Denver chronicles the appearance of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Yngwie Malmsteen at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO, on October 20, 2003. (There is also a simultaneously released CD drawn from the tour, G3 Live: Rockin' in the Free World, but it presents the following night's performance in Kansas City, MO.) This is the fifth G3 outing, the trio of performers always including Satriani and Vai, with Malmsteen making his first appearance. Sequenced out of performance order on the video, Satriani, the least flashy of the three, goes first, his head and face partially hidden by a black cap and orange sunglasses. Satriani is all business as he flies over his fretboard for five numbers. Vai ups the theatricalism right away by beginning with a triple-necked guitar that is at times played with a fellow guitarist, and going on to line up three guitarists who each put hands on each other's instruments. But the showiest performer by far is Malmsteen, decked out in long hair and leather pants, who seems almost like a parody of a heavy metal guitar god, throwing his guitar around his neck by the strap, using up one pick after another and flicking them into the crowd, and shaking his mane along with the music. But he plays well all along, displaying heavy classical influences, and of course the crowd eats up his shtick. When it's time for the three main performers to jam together, Malmsteen often seems like the odd man out during a set featuring Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," and Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," each one of the performers spotlighted in turn, that is, until he gets "Voodoo Child" to himself and gives it the kind of showmanship that would do Hendrix proud. The video should be even more valuable to fans than the CD, since they will be able to study the performers' playing and not just hear it.

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