A Journey into 2018’s G3 Tour





When affiliating anything with guitarist Joe Satriani, you can expect some serious guitar jams to happen. As Joe hits the road with his 2018 G3 Tour, he takes along with himself Dream Theater’s John Petrucci and Def Leppard’s Phil Collen. Since this show is at the Fox Theater in Oakland, we expected a stellar hometown show from Mr. Satriani. I wondered if tonight was going to be nonstop blistering guitar solos from start to finish of the show? Well that was answered quickly.  



Phil Collen was the first to hit the stage. You might have thought his set would have been commercial rock oriented songs as he’s known for in Def Leppard. What we got instead were some killer blues riffs mixed with some soul as he brought with him his blues based side project Delta Deep. Initially Phil took the reins on vocals until he brought out the lovely Debbi Blackwell-Cook. She was the surprise hit of the evening. She is so amazing that if you ever get the chance to see her perform live, do so.



The rest of Phil’s band was completed by drummer Forrest Robinson and touring bassist Craig Martini. Now back to Collen. Phil played both Delta Deep songs like ‘Bless These Blues’ and ‘Down in the Delta’ as well as Deep Purple’s ‘Mistreated’. As far as his guitar work, it was both bluesy as at times a more rock edge. It was a great start to the show because it felt like you were seeing a band performance instead of just a solo act.



Next to hit the stage was Dream Theater’s John Petrucci. He was backed by bassist Dave LaRue and Dream Theater’s own Mike Mangini on drums. He came out playing ‘Wrath of The Amazons’ followed by ‘Jaws of Life’. These were some dark, brooding songs with the tone very different from Collen’s set. To change things up by John announced that he would lift things back up with ‘The Happy Song’. As the set continued, he showed exactly why he was part of this year’s line up as he scorched his fretboard with some incredible soloing. It was a solid set especially with him playing ‘Glassy-Eyed Zombies’.



Now it was time for the true guitar virtuoso to take the floor. Joe Satriani has a dynamic way of making melodic songs san vocals that let his solos cover those runs. He build his songs with verses and choruses and not just solo on top of solo. I always enjoy seeing Santiani perform because his technical aspect on the guitar is so technical yet seems effortless. The best part is he just makes damn good music.



He played through songs like ‘Satch Boogie’, Catbot’, & ‘Cherry Blossoms’ which were all amazing. He also played us through ‘Super Funky Badass’, ‘Headrush’, ‘Summer Song’, and ‘Circles’. The fans responded well to everything he was dishing out. (how could they not).  You have to give credit where credit is due and that would be Joe’s band. For the tour he is being backed by Mike Keneally on guitar and keyboard, Bryan Beller on bass, and Joe Travers on drums.



What I was looking forward to was to get Santriani, Collen, & Petrucci on stage together. That happened at the end of the evening when Collen and Petrucci came out and joined Santriani to play Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’ with Debbi Blackwell-Cook covering vocals. It was amazing how these three traded licks and just tore up the song in the best of ways.


The real high point came when another bay area legend Journey’s Neal Schon came out to join the rest of G3 to cover Stevie Wonder’s Superstion’ and Alabama State Trooper’s ‘Going Down’. At first the solos were being traded by Satriani and Schon, then they all took part and it was blissful. I have to say that this was a perfect way to close the evening. No matter what your expectations were for this show, they were blown away. I hope they release a live album of this tour because the music was that good!


For more photos of the G3 2018 Show, check out our Photo Gallery HERE


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