Phil Collen, John Petrucci and Joe Satriani Shred Riffs and Melt Faces on Yet Another Successful G3 Tour – Review of the the G3 Tour at the Parker Playhouse in Sunrise, FL
Another year goes by and so does the return of the legendary rock tour, G3. G3 Tour 2018 brought together three of the few ultimate guitarists of all time. Rock-god Joe Satriani returned to South Florida this year bringing Metal guitar legend John Petrucci (Dream Theater) and English classic-rock icon Phil Collen (Def Leppard) to the Parker Playhouse Thursday night February 1st for an epic night of renowned and skillful guitar shredding. The concert was originally scheduled for Pompano Amphitheater and was moved to Parker Playhouse the previous week, but this move allowed for a more intimate music performance.
The theater was foggy when Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen’s band Delta Deep opened the night, featuring Robert DeLeo on bass (Stone Temple Pilots/Army of One), Forrest Robinson on drums (Joe Sample & The Crusaders/TLC), and Debbi Blackwell on vocals (Michael Buble/Tesla). The lights became an intense dark purple, green, and blue lighting as they opened up with the song Quadrant (Billy Cobham), and Collen performed with the speed of a cheetah with insane arpeggio movements up and down the neck of his guitar, while DeLeo followed the lead on bass, and Robinson matched the intensity with double bass drums. Then, they performed a new classic rock/metal jam Yo 2 Joe. Blackwell then appeared on stage to sing Delta Deep’s new hit Bless These Blues, a very old school blues groove, along with Collen singing. Blackwell continued to provide vocals for the next jam off of their self-titled Delta Deep album, Burnt Sally. Then, she sang Mistreated (Deep Purple), and displayed her erratic vocal range by engaging in battles with Collen’s guitar-playing, followed by DeLeo’s slap-bass by mimicking the sounds of their instruments through varying pitches of scatting until the musician’s decided to “show-off” where even she couldn’t keep up with the intensity of their solos. They ended the first set with Down in the Delta, where Collen announced that Def Leppard just released their entire catalog of multi-platinum albums that could to be streamed and downloaded, and they ended their set with Blackwell leading the vocals while the men sang in the background and Collen easily lifted his guitar with one arm by the whammy bar.
Dream Theater’s John Petrucci (ranked #2 metal guitarist of all time) brought the dark heavy metal sound to G3, with opening song Wrath of the Amazons, and a trippy/spacey background filled the video screen behind the band. The heavy metal instrumental set consisted of Dave LaRue on bass (Dixie Dregs) and Mike Mangini on drums (Dream Theater). Petrucci showed the audience why he’s ranked the 17th greatest guitarist of all time with his skills in tremelo-picking throughout his hit song Jaws of Life. Then, he decided to lighten up the mood with the festive Happy Song where he played short riffs from an array of different songs including Scotty Doesn’t Know (from the movie Eurotrip), and exhibited his sick hammer-on/pull-off flairs. Damage Control followed with LaRue and his 80’s style wavy long hair providing an extremely fast-paced bass solo, and Glassy-Eyed Zombies was next which featured a great deal of smooth guitar licks and neck slides. Petrucci ended with favorite Glasgow Kiss and bestowed the audience with epic guitar solos throughout the entire song.
Finally, the host of G3, the most renowned guitarist of all time, Joe Satriani, took the stage and jumped around for the song Energy, and the final set of the epic guitar concert began. His band was a four-piece including musicians Joe Travers (drums), Bryan Bellers (bass), and Mike Keneally on (guitar and keyboards). During the next song, Catbot, Keneally would switch back and forth between the keyboards and his multi-scaled, headless, fanned-fretted guitar, and Satriani would play his guitar with his tongue at some points and would make goofy facial expressions that matched the sound of his guitar. Satch Boogie followed with an intense-paced double drum intro, which in turn had the entire band following pace in turn with Satriani showing off his tapping and whammy-playing skills and of course more tongue-playing. They slowed it down with Cherry Blossoms and picked it right back up again with Thunder High on the Mountain, which featured slow-motion images of lightning striking on the video screen background behind them and had his guitar screaming like a lightning strike. The epic instrumental jam continued with other hits like Super Funky Badass, Cataclysmic, Headrush, Circles, Always with Me/Always with You, and then the hits were followed by an epic drum solo by Travers. Satriani ended the set with Summer Song that included an epic spider-like movement arpeggio all over his guitar. However, the night was not over for the epic multi-guitarist encore had yet to begin.
The encore began with Phil Collen appearing in usual Def Leppard-style punk rock vest and clothes, followed by John Petrucci, and even Debbi Blackwell. They performed another Deep Purple cover of Highway Star and the three guitarists would face each other and jam the song away, while Blackwell provided exceptionally high-pitched vocals. Stevie Wonder’s Superstition followed with a funky/groovy jam from the talented musicians, each bringing their own style to their individual solo battle they engaged in throughout the song, which got faster and more epic as each guitarist would pass it on to the next performer. The song ended with a transition into Back in Black (AC/DC) with Joe Satriani and John Petrucci ending up on their knees playing their guitars at the speed of light! Finally, the entire epic night of guitar jamming ended with The Alabama State Troopers’ Going Down, with Blackwell screeching her fluctuating vocal pitches and G3 guitarists following suit. As the encore set winded down, the erratic guitar-playing flourished during Going Down, and Blackwell’s vocals got lower and lower towards the end, until the jam finally ended, and the crowd roared for all of the amazing and talented musicians that blew the lid off of The Parker Playhouse that night.