Review: Joe Satriani at Sheffield City Hall

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Guitar hero Joe Satriani likes to get his teeth into his work - literally, writes Graham Walker

He plays better with his incisors than most mere mortals do with their fingers, as fans who packed out Sheffield City Hall on Saturday (June 15, 2013) will testify.

Joe Satriani performing at Sheffield City Hall. Photo: Glenn Ashley.

Joe Satriani performing at Sheffield City Hall. Photo: Glenn Ashley.

That said, when this instrumental genius lets his fingers do the talking, the guitar does the singing.

Satriani, arguably the greatest guitarist on the planet - and in the top five of all time - burned the fretboard with what appeared to be a million-notes-a-minute, as his hands became a blur.

When session musician Mike Keneally, Frank Zappa’s former ‘stunt guitarist’, is second fiddle, or rather guitarist and keyboard player, you know you’re in for greatness centre stage.

Joe doesn’t disappoint. The musicianship is jaw-dropping.

Having already released 14 albums, the 56-year-old, who looks 20-years younger, showed no signs of slowing down, living up to the name of his latest release, Unstoppable Momentum.

Shine On American Dreamer, played out against a huge screen at the back of the stage, showing a wide-open American desert highway, may have been the highlight for the mainly middle-aged audience of air-guitar experts, who in another life would have wanted to be extras in Easy Rider.

At over two-hours, including album tracks and greatest hits, to the uninitiated this may have been a little self-indulgent.

But the guitar nerds in the room had died and gone to heaven.

Satriani may not yet be the household name of Jimi Hendrix, who inspired him, or even Brian May. But here’s a man hitting the right notes to be remembered as the greatest guitar player of all time.

If you missed the UK tour, which ends at London’s IndigO2 on Tuesday (June 18,2013), before playing Germany, Austria, Poland, Russia, then the USA, don’t miss the album. Full details at www.satriani.com.

AUDIO: Listen to Joe Satriani talking about his new album and career in an exclusive chat with The Star’s digital editor Graham Walker, recorded just before his Sheffield concert - CLICK HERE.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Joe’s latest music video, A Door Into Summer.

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