from the vault

Joe Satriani at KCT in 2011

this concert almost never even happened

by Miles Overn - January 7, 2011

Uncovering gems from the eiKelowna Music Vault

How is it the show almost didn't go on? Well, Kelowna is in a valley, and valleys are between mountians, and in the mountains in the winter in Canada, snow happens!

Looking Back - I, like every guitar player in town, had been anticipating this show for weeks. Satriani remains one of those "guitar gods" whom all players revere and stand in awe of. A glance around the lobby before the show and it was obvious that pretty much every good guitarist in town was there to listen and to pay homage.

I had been in contact with his publicist weeks earlier and had received a copy of his "Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards" CD to do a review of. Having spent some serious time listening to the disc, I was stoked at the opportunity to connect before the show and then shoot the first 3 songs before taking my seat to do a review.

The news had come in the afternoon that Satriani's bus was caught behind an avalance in the Canadian Rockies. As in on the wrong side of the snow. Doubts were being raised about whether or not they would make it to town in time to do a show. Long story short, they made it. Barely. Load in and sound check and other logistical issues meant the chance to meet and talk before the show was gone. However, the performance he and his band put on didn't even provide a hint that anything out of the ordinary had taken place on the way there. Total professionalism.

Read the review below. See if it brings back some memories for you if you were there. Satriani burned the place down to the ground. We wouldn't see anything approaching this concert from a guitar slinging perspective until Steve Vai rolled into town half a decade later

For a list of more recent reviews, check out our Music Reviews page.

NOTE - The COVID-19 pandemic and the provincial state of emergency delcaration have put a hold on live music performances in Kelowna and across BC. As restrictions loosen and live events start getting booked again, the other pages in our music section will begin to fill up again.



Satriani's Sheer Brilliance on Display in Kelowna

From the opening strains of Ice 9, through to the final fills of Big Bad Moon, Joe Satriani burned his way through a mixture of older hits and new songs from his more recent releases.

All the songs that established him as the leading proponent of instrumental rock guitar were there; Ice 9, Satch Boogie, Flying in a Blue Dream, Crystal Planet, Always with Me... And they were done with a fearful combination of reckless abandon and laser sharp precision which wouldn’t be possible by mere mortals. But Joe Satriani is a guitar god, so there are no real limits.

Also featured prominently in this set were pieces from his brilliant new CD, Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards. Premonition, Dream Song, Wind in the Trees, Light Years Away and Littleworth Lane were all played and brought with them to the live stage much of the newness and spacious arrangements from the album.

Backed on his current tour by the band from his latest CD, including Mike Keneally on keyboards, Allen Whitman on bass guitar, and long-time collaborator Jeff Campitelli on drums, and with the additional guitar of Galen Henson, Satriani had the rock solid foundation underneath him to allow him to soar through and play around with time in ways that left his audience awe struck. Every acrobatic, mind blowing, death defying, virtuosic, beyond advanced and beyond the imagination of most guitarists, technique that has long been associated with Satriani was on full display as he gave a brilliant performance in front of a sold-out KCT crowd.

The crowd took to their feet before the main set ended, and continued to stand throughout the entire encore as Satriani and band mates closed with Crowd Chant and Summer Song. The call and response between his guitar and the audience’s combined voices as they tried to echo his trademark quirky lines ensured that everyone was warmed up before they bundled up and headed home, fully satisfied and once again reminded just how good Joe Satriani is.

Satriani continues to tour with this line-up in support of Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards.

(As we tweeted last night, this show started late due to his tour bus getting stranded for 10 hours due to really bad weather in the mountains between Calgary and Kelowna. His crew, and the whole Live Nation team, did an unbelievable job of making this event happen at all. It is indeed situations like this where you get to see the real level of professionalism of everyone involved.)

Joe Satriani | Photo copyright (c) 2011 Miles Overn Photography

Joe Satriani at Kelowna Community Theatre in Kelowna

All images copyright (c) 2011 Miles Overn

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