REVIEWS: G3 Europe - 25 June: NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND

Been to a Vai show? Review it here. Please post in the appropriate thread for each show!
Mikey
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Did you attend this show at City Hall in NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND?

We love to read your reviews - please post them here!

Peace,

Mikey
vai.com
Last edited by Mikey on Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
razor_r666
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My first ever G3 gig, and it did not dissapoint, iv just got bak now!

Steve vai kicked ass!!! sum amazing playing!!! and joe, well joe was aposolutly amazing, i was simply blown away!!!

Unfortunatly fripp almost ruined t nite. His set at the start just does not fit in wit t G3 sound, and the crowd made sure he knew bout it. But he surprised us all at t end!!

This gig was just t best n i cant wait to go again!!!! :D
longjohncider
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:o
Last edited by longjohncider on Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
ralph21
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This was my first G3 concert and Steve Vai's Performance was blistering. I enjoyed his set the most.
Steve's band was great and seeing Tony Mcalpine was a real treat, apart from the fact he did not have a set of his own. As I would love to hear hundreds and thousands live.
Satriani's set was awsome too.
Robert's set was strange, it seemed more like ambience than music but he played excellent towards the end.
I think Steve has the best band.
overall it was the best concert Ive seen. Amazing. Well done to Steve, Joe and Robert. :D
Last edited by ralph21 on Fri Jun 25, 2004 4:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
JimGardner
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I could have placed bets that someone would post something negative about Robert Fripp following the disgraceful behavior of some of the members of the audience at tonights amazing G3 at Newcastle city hall show. Slow hand clapping one of the greatest musicians in the world is something to be ashamed of and utterly contradictory to what Steve Vai has been trying to tell us all about music for all these years IF you where listening. The simple point is; turn on MTV and see how long you have to wait to hear anything anywhere near as abstract and challenging as what Robert played tonight. Then, when you realise this is never going to happen if you waited a billion years shut your neck and go out tomorrow and buy anything by King Crimson, learn what real guitar playing is all about. Enough said, except to say anyone wishing to add their voice to mine in mailing Robert Fripp to thank him for tonights great performance at his web site should feel free to do so as soon as possible.

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Steve's set was flawless tonight - as ever. I waited around to chat with him for all of 10 minuets after the show and he was open and happy to talk while signing autographs and having his picture taken. I didn't however want anything signed, merely to ask some questions which he was just as happy to do.

First I asked him if he'd thought of asking John McLaughlin or Allan Holdsworth to do a G3 stint. He said they where both "on the list" of people who he and Joe would love to work with.

"Will you record with Terry Bozzio again?" "I'd love to. I have hours and hours of him just playing on tape, he's incredible."

"Will there be a Fire Strings DVD?" He said he didn't think there was enough usable footage from the 3 camera stuff he has but that he would love to get something out there because it's amazing music that he found very challenging to play because he didn't write it.

Then a fan appeared with a beautiful black and mother of pearl seven string for Steve to sign.

"Do you still plan on re-mixing the Alcatrazz material?" Steve seemed to smile that he still gets asked about stuff from way back and I interrupted his reply by commenting that I meant no offence to his later material but that this period was the first of his playing that I got into and so it will always be his best to my ears. "Perhaps someday", he said.

"Did you record the new album using Pro-tools?", I asked by way of mentioning that we use Logic Audio, which he said he likes, but not as much as Pro-Tools for sample editing, which is also easiest to use because everyone he works with uses it too.

"You get better all the time Steve thank you for everything, see you soon". "Take care thank you too". I shook hands with the man and left for home.

Earlier, outside the venue, I spoke with Jeremy Colson about his work with Marty Friedman and he said he just met with Terry Bozzio recently and was star struck and that Steve is a firm but fair boss, constantly rehearsing material. He also mentioned that Attitude Song was by far the hardest to learn how to play. I said he should try it on the guitar!
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As for the actual show itself, it was marred from the start by frankly below par front of house sound mixing, although I have to admit to never having experience good sound in this particular venue for a variety of different acts. This is almost entirely down to local crew and not a reflection on the professionalism of anyone immediately associated with the tour. Steve's on stage sound cut through the air enough to give a good idea of what he was hearing and that seemed truly amazing, those Carvin heads and cabinets are something else for sure! Unfortunately there was nothing to save Billy Sheehan's out-front sound. I've waited almost 13 years to hear Steve and Billy play together and it looks as if I'll have to wait a while longer to get the full picture.

By the end of the evening my ears had sort of settled into being bombarded by enharmonic low end rumble and upper mid "honk" and "Larks tongues in aspic", a King Crimson standard, utterly blew me away, and it has to be said silenced the people who where shouting ignorances every time Bob Fripp appeared, and not just because he played THE solo of the evening, but because it was obvious Steve and Joe where in heaven playing this particular song too.

In short. The highlights of the show came thanks to Mr. Satriani, most notably "Flying in a blue dream" and a reworked version of "Always with me, always with you". But in the G3 scheme of things Steve is, was and always will be THE man.

Jim Gardner.
Weebleboy
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I thought the show was class, steve and joe rocked the place, and robert was, well, miscast....

Fripp opened the evening with his 'soundscape' set, and to my untrained ears it seemed like he spent the whole time making very complicated guitar (effects) work sound like very basic layered keyboards, so it wasnt the most interesting way to start the night. The crowd let him know it too (altho it could've been worse...), and i got the impression he was a little out of his depth, playing a more 'askew' set to a venue full of people awaiting a more standard style 'rock' concert.

Steve Vai blew me away, i'd seen the live at the astoria dvd (i'd missed that tour due to my damn exams) and was desperately waiting for my chance to see Vai live. It was refreshing that there were some changes from the dvd (answers, the keyboard FTLOG intro etc and more), and Whispering a Prayer was absolutely beautiful. His band were on top form, Billy Sheehan is up there with Stu Hamm as the best live bass player i've ever seen, Dave Weiner is quality, looking forward to hearing his cd, and Tony Macalpine is a fantastic musician.

I thought Satch was a little disappointing compared to last time, there just wasnt the same level of excitement about his set, and i'm not the biggest fan of his latest album, but that's just my taste. His new band also lacks the punch of his previous lineups. Still, was nice to hear 'War', one of my favourite Joe tracks, delivered superbly.

The jam section was good too, was hoping to hear Vai do Little Wing as well as he does, but i was happy with what we got. Was disappointing that Fripp still stayed stuck in his corner, as he looked to be playing some good solos (even tho from where i was sat on the balcony we could hardly hear him). Would've been nice if he'd got involved some more.

All in all, a quality nights entertainment, cant wait till Vai's next solo tour, cos he was the highlight of the night for me.
igachagaiga
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JimGardner is absolutely right. I wish that I would have had the opportunity to post a review of such a show, and to read the messages of a bunch of shallow people that are ripping on Fripp makes me think "These are the kind of people that Steve Vai would hate." Vai played with Zappa, for God's sake. His to reading of the uninformed whining that is appearing on this board as well as hearing the reactions to the Soundscapes live is sure to lower his opinion of the majority of his fans when he sees how closed-minded most of you are.

The bottom line is this, you have the right not to like something, but you do not have the right to disrespect something with the musical substance of Fripp's work. All of you need to shut up.
swlabr
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Amazing!

Missed Fripp at the start which, from what my mate told me, I was glad, until the end that was! I thought he was class and the way he played was impressive considering he's and old man. Imagine ya grandad playin like that!

Vai -- Cant believe he does this stuff live! Out of this world

Satch -- :shock: Words just cant explain! Nuff said!
matt_sefton
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I also attended last night's City Hall show and would like to echo the comments of others on the board regarding Robert Fripp's set. While personally I was not particularly enthralled by his set, the reaction of some parts of the crowd was disgusting, to say the least. I was in the front row stalls and there was a kid who couldn't have been more than 13 next to me shouting abuse all through Fripp's set. I gently warned him that if he didn't like it he should exit to the bar area while he could still walk without a fist in his mouth :) To me, music is about experiencing different styles and taking something from each of them, which I guess is the whole point of the G3 experience. People should remember that when attending a show.

TO JIM GARDNER, who wrote "although I have to admit to never having experience good sound in this particular venue for a variety of different acts. This is almost entirely down to local crew and not a reflection on the professionalism of anyone immediately associated with the tour" - I am surprised to hear you say that. Admittedly the sound tonight was awful, especially for some reason during Satriani's set where the muddy bass frequencies that seemed to be coming from Joe's rig (I was directly in front of it and it hurt!) spoilt a lot of the show for me. However, I don't put this down to the good old City Hall. I've attended over 200 shows at this venue (as well as a lot in venues all over the country) and the sound has always been good. A hell of a lot of live albums have been recorded at the City Hall, so it can't be that bad, can it? :) My take on the situation was a band playing too loud through an underpowered, very small PA. I could be way off the mark, but that's what it felt like to me.

Vai's set was by far the pick of the night for me. At one point, after making eye contact with me a couple of times, Steve came over and lowered his pick-infested headstock into my hands, whereby I grabbed 5 or 6 picks and passed them out to the others at the front, keeping one for myself. Pity the guy next to me who got the Satch picks didn't do the same.

After the show, I waited for 20 minutes or so then sneaked into the hall through a fire exit :) All the guys were there and all were very patient and friendly. Naturally, Steve was mobbed the most but took it graciously and signed everything and posed for pics. Joe Satriani was a very pleasant guy. I told him I'd been watching a DVD bootleg of Deep Purple in '94 with him on guitar and he said "damn - I'd love to see that - I wish you'd brought me a copy" - doh! Dave Weiner and Tony Macalpine were also very good guys but star of the night was Billy Sheehan - a nicer 'rock star' I've never met!

Suggestions for next year's G3? Reb Beach (one of the most underrated players out there), Paul Gilbert, Doug Aldrich, Brent Mason (country giant). I could go on :)
longjohncider
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:o
Last edited by longjohncider on Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Skyscraper
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Firstly, I have to agree with those who have criticised the more narrow-minded members of the audience who could not manage to behave themselves during Robert Fripp's set. I admit that his music isn't the sort to which I would normally listen (then again, I haven't really ever heard anything like it before anyway!), but along with many others who weren't very knowledgeable about Robert Fripp before the concert, I went there with an open mind and gave it a chance. What a shame that certain parts of the audience could not do the same. I'm sure that not only Robert but also Steve and Joe wouldn't have appreciated that at all. Joe was even saying after the show how lucky they were to have Robert with them, if others didn't feel that way then they should at least have shown some respect for the man and his performance. I'll agree that it wasn't what could conventionally be expected of a G3 guitarist, demonstrating a very different style of playing which took a while to understand and therefore to enjoy (which to be fair I did enjoy after getting used to the idea of what it was), but he came out and played for everyone there, doing what he set out to do extremely well for our benefit and should at least have been shown some respect by those attending.

What struck me at the time as being a very good move was the way that Steve came out himself almost immediately after Fripp's set which prevented some of the more impolite audience members from shouting down Robert's performance. I don't know if Steve had been listening to what was happening but that was a good move, even if sadly it was something which shouldn't have been necessary had some people shown more manners during Robert's performance. I doubt that Robert reads these reviews, as this is Steve's website, but if Robert does read this I would like to thank him and say that many of us did appreciate his performance and were very pleased to have had the opportunity to see him play for us. Fortunately at the end of the show people had more of an opportunity to show their appreciation for Robert, so I at least hope that he felt vindicated by the reception he received at the end of the evening.

Anyway, with the last notes still echoing from Robert Fripp's performance, Steve came out next for us. It was my first time seeing Steve and the guys playing live, what a performance! Whispering A Prayer and For The Love Of God (with the keyboard intro from Tony) were the highlights for me, although Answers (which had sounded great earlier in the day from the part fo the soundcheck I heard when I went to sort out what to do about picking up Aftershow passes) and The Reaper also stood out I thought. Really though the whole performance was breathtaking, had I been told that Alien Love Secrets and The Ultra Zone wouldn't feature I wouldn't have expected it still to be as good as it was, but it was incredible to see what Steve and the band could do, visually they kept us entertained and more importantly the musicianship was flawless. Tony really impressed me, but as a fan of Steve's from the David Lee Roth days I was looking for great performances from both Steve and Billy Sheehan, which they both duly delivered!

Joe was next after the interval. Incidentally, the interval is a very necessary part of the show, so please keep it on any future G3 shows please. My bladder was ready to burst just after Steve finished his set, but I didn't want to miss Joe! Anyway, Joe's show was more focused on his performance than the whole band, as had been the case with Steve. The thing is, while Steve and his band maybe had more of an impressive visual show and displayed the musicianship of the whole band more than was apparent with Joe Satriani's band, Joe's songs seemed to set out to be more 'fun' than impressive. I don't know if anyone reading this knows exactly what I mean, but when other people have talked about Joe getting his groove on, that is kind of what I'm trying to say. Steve and his band came across as guys who enjoy their music but maybe still want to push boundaries and meet new challenges all the time in their music and their performances, while the fun was shown more through the visual aspect of the set. With Joe, although I don't doubt that he also wants to explore new avenues musically, he comes across more as a guy who just wants fun from his music first and foremost, even though visually he doesn't go for the showmanship that Steve has. He played a lot of new stuff, but I enjoyed that immensely as I really like the new album, Up In Flames being a song I had really wanted to see performed live in particular, mixing it up with a few older classics as well (including Satch Boogie and Always With Me, Always With You), roughly a half and half mixture. Robert Fripp backing up Joe on some of the songs was a nice touch, sometimes when I've heard some live material from Joe I've thought that for a very minor improvement it could maybe use a bit of beefing up, with Fripp playing there was a lot of body to the songs so I don't know how much of a difference that made, but it went down well from where I was sitiing. Flying In A Blue Dream was a personal highlight for me, I have grown up with that album and song (being the first album of Joe's I heard and owned) so hearing that as part of three songs played back to back (coming after Is There Love In Space? and War, the latter especially being another real standout moment) was an immense moment. Joe was mostly over our side of the stage (I was about four rows from the front rougly), so that just made it even better as he was stood right in front of us for many of his best moments.

The G3 jam was something I appreciated all the more for the fact that they played their own songs, meaning that we could hear Steve playing Ice 9 and Joe playing Murder, while the King Crimson song (Red, was it called? Can't remember now) was a lot rockier than what Fripp had been doing before and he wowed the crowd through the jam with some really fast solo playing. That was good to see from Robert as it silenced a lot of people who had rudely dismissed him earlier, proving them wrong and showing that he could play at speed comfortably when he wanted to do it. Rockin' In The Free World was a good finish to a great show.

For the Aftershow I have to say huge thanks to Mikey for shouting me a third pass which made all of our organising going to the show so much easier and meant that one more of us got to attend as well. That was really great of Mikey to do that when he didn't have to and was much appreciated. The Aftershow itself demonstrated two things. Firstly, it showed how patient Joe, Steve and the guys were, while secondly, it showed how poor the general organisation within City Hall is. We were moved around a couple of times during the clearing up of equipment, but that wasn't a big deal and was neither here nor there. However, after Joe and Steve came out to talk to those with Aftershow passes, loads of people came in through the fire exit who had obviously just barged in past the apathetic security workers. Joe and Steve took it in their stride if they even noticed, plus the people who came in were all reasonable enough just wanting a brief meeting with Joe, Steve and Billy, but had security been responsible for this had more people been there, or less agreeable people, then the whole thing could have been turned into a complete farce. When Joe was talking to people before I spoke to him he also mentioned that City Hall had had a curfew where other venues had not, which meant that they had had to tighten up on some of the stuff that they might have added to the show, these factors discourage people from coming back to Newcastle. I was delighted when the tour was announced that the G3 show was coming to Newcastle, plus I thought it was great that City Hall took on the show as they typically do more of a variety of shows and are more open-minded than at other venues such as the Telewest Arena in my opinion, so I just hope that these things don't deter Joe and/or Steve from coming back here again.

Anyway, I saw Joe first and he was such a super nice guy to everyone. It kind of made me think of when people go to Church and the priest meets people after mass, that's how nice he was! He was very down to earth and although I wasn't sure how I'd be meeting him for the first time, his manner really put you at ease, he was so easy to talk with and was very patient and appreciative of everyone who had come to see him. What a real top class guy he was, he couldn't have been better to meet.

Steve seemed a bit more reserved when I met him. He was still very nice and patient enough to answer questions, pose for photos with everyone who wanted them and sign things for people, as was the case with Joe, but there was just a little more reserve about him. I got the impression he was pretty tired but he was still classy enough to make time for everyone there and really helped to make it more of a special day. The only thing that annoyed me was forgetting all of the great questions I was going to ask him once the show started, asking him stuff that I wouldn't have chosen to ask him, then remembering most of the really good questions about ten minutes after they and we left! That's the way it goes though, you can't really legislate for that!

Yes it was loud, I personally like it loud so I didn't have any problem with that at all, plus there were other minor things as I have mentioned, but the main thing was that Robert, Steve and Joe all put on a great show in Newcastle, plus Steve and Joe were really nice after the show, so really although you can try and pick very minor faults (the main one being the behaviour of the audience at the beginning), these were very easily overshadowed by fantastic performances from Robert, Steve and the guys, Joe and his band. Thanks for a great show and I hope to see you again some time in the future.
shaunrowley2001
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Well, I must admit I was blown away by the whole evening, including Mr Fripp!

I have seen all the DVD's, got all the CD's but nothing prepared me for the real thing. It was almost an honour to sit and watch the performers, I had to keep reminding myself I was actually sitting watching and listening to the greatest musicians I have ever heard.

I have not heard much of Robert Fripp, and I liked what I heard, although I was a bit unsure his "set" fit in well with the whole night in general. You can almost certainly tell that Fripp has been a massive influence on Vai and Satch, his use of effects was amazing. His music was very mellow, and his control over the overall effect was amazing, he obviously knows his stuff!

Once Fripp had been and gone (shocking the abuse he got mind you) the night really kicked off. Vai was absolutely amazing. He owned the place when he was playing, and we were eating out of his hand! Best song for me has to be For the love of God, the hairs were standing up on the back of my neck, absolutely brilliant stuff!

Satch was in his element also, Satch Boogie was excellent. He was his usual brilliant self! The jam at the end finally allowed Fripp to show what he is capable of, and he knocked out at least 3 solos where he showed his shredding techniques! Obviously he can play the flashy lead stuff, but his real strength lies in his ability to build up lines of weird guitar parts to create an overwhelming sound.

I didnt have the honour of meeting any of the lads, but I will be attempting to put that right at the next gig (if there is one, and judging by the treatment Fripp got, I wouldnt blame them if there wasnt!)

Thanx guys for the evening, nothing comes close to what I saw tonight.

Shaun

PS I reckon Mr Gilbert would be a perfect 3rd man at the next G3. Every Muso I have spoken to has agreed that would be something else...
Stormbringer
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I thought it was a fabulous gig! I was absolutely enthralled by Robert Fripp's opening set.

It did not fit into the big scheme of things, but despite that, I thought the soundscapes and looping he did was beautiful.

There were a couple of hecklers in front of me who began hurling abuse, and then laughing amongst themselves. Did they think it was clever?

In fact, Fripp knew exactly what he was doing. He is quoted as saying that he likes to test the audience's patience with these soundscapes. And the people who heckled failed that test! :)

Vai was magnificent, Satch superb. Thoroughly enjoyed it. And it was great that they played Red. An excellent track.

I interviewed Steve and Joe before the gig. I will post up the interviews here when I've had a chance to transcribe them!

Cheers,
venacavadrummer
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Great gig!! just like to mention that the whole evening was amazing. Jeremy played well i will look out for him in the future picked up some great tips from watching his playing. Thanks if you read this. Steve played and joe played well was blown away by the whole evening including rob.
Sugestions for the next g3 tour- Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci and yngwie malmsteen. All great players i think they will fit in well and provide us with yet another great evening.
leemero
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I've seen Vai and Satch numerous times, and this was a great gig – the City Hall is a very intimate setting and, with a performer such as Steve, provides a great opportunity to work the crowd. He's got a such a commanding stage prescence that, I believe, he may take something away from the more laid-back Joe. Take those bloody Oakleys off Satch! We want eye contact!

While I felt bad for Fripp when the slow hand clapping started, I'm sure his shoulders are broad enough – you don't innovate like he has without most people going 'What the f@*k's that?' when you're twiddiling your knobs! But the guy's played with Bowie, Adrian Belew, Tony Levine and now Satch and Vai. And how many of the hecklers can say that they have?

It's a shame his amp wasn't on 11 for the G3 jam: his fingers were blazing but, unfortunately, only stuff above the 12th fret seemed to be audible. But anyone's got to admit, the King Crimson song they did in the jam – that was a fantastic composition!

I had a spare ticket to the gig and took my sister who, although not a fan, remembers a few of the Vai and Satch tracks from my teenage years when I'd play them at home. She really enjoyed it, the spectacle of truly gifted, impassioned players going for it, as much as anything. If a non fan can enjoy, I think that's the mark of a really good show.

I've just been to get my limited edition signed lithograph measured for framing – a great souvenir from a great night.

Thanks to all concerned!
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