Satch Returns! Joe Satriani gives a performance for the ages at the London Palladium.
"We finally made it back", the Ibanez-wielding icon of electric guitar states as he returns with his first solo show UK capital in eight years (with 2018's outing a part of the G3 extravaganza). In that time, a ton of new material has been released, including 'Shapeshifting' (2020) and last year's 'Elephants of Mars,' presenting the challenge of honouring the new material without cheating the fans of the classics. However, this was expertly achieved over two well-balanced and powerful sets on the night.
Accompanied by Bryan Beller (bass guitar), Rai Thistlethwayte (Keyboard/Guitar), and the legendary Kenny Aronoff—Joe kicked off the night with the high-energy "Nineteen Eighty" and never looked back. Highlights from the first set included a somewhat rare UK performance of "One Big Rush," as well as thunderous renditions of fan favourites "Ice 9" and "Crystal Planet."
"Cool #9" & "Luminous Flesh Giants" from 1995's self-titled release were personal high spots for me during the second set, with these songs continuing to grow arms and legs with every new tour. Satch loves to pull these in various directions improvisation-wise, letting the band cut loose at times, and tonight was no exception. "Shapeshifting" and "Teardrops" will easily become mainstays in future shows, and with good reason.
It has to be noted that even after four decades in music, what Satriani continues to produce in a live setting is nothing short of miraculous. Not only does he continue to add to his stellar catalogue of material compositional-wise, but the spellbinding solo sections of past and present tracks are effortlessly executed...Not to mention, he hasn't appeared to have aged a day in 25 years. He is truly Not of This Earth, and long may he continue to be.
All photos by Zoran Veselinovic
Joe Satriani — London Palladium — 17th May 2023
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