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Steve Vai - John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani- G3 Live In Tokyo CD (album) cover


Steve Vai


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3.29 | 36 ratings

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2 stars I've never been a huge fan of the G3 albums. I mean, you take virtuosos Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, then you invite an equally impressive guest like Robert Fripp of Uli Jon Roth. Then you drop this recipe for success in a fire because each player only gets around 15-20 minutes followed by an equally long jam session with all three. What? If each player got a reasonable amount of time to play these CDs would never leave my side. This particular album is no exception. Now, Dream Theater guitar god John Petrucci enters the fold for what on paper sounds like a terrific concert. Yet he plays a grand total of two songs. Two. And neither are very long. Both Glasgow Kiss and Damage Control are very strong tunes, but they're certainly not strong enough to be an entire setlist. Joe and Steve both have three, and they both are over before you get adjusted to them. The jam session, as always with G3, is the highlight of the evening. The boys tear through Hendrix's Foxey Lady, ZZ Top's La Grange, and Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water. These versions are great, but it just leaves you wanting more.

As usual, Steve Vai is the player that stand out the most. His lineup is flawless, with guitar/keyboard wizard Tony MacAlpine and bass virtuoso Billy Sheehan being the standouts. His interplay with Billy on The Audience is Listening is stunning, in which the two assist each other in playing their instruments. Billy's solo is also killer. Building the Church takes the studio version to new heights, with extended sections, better tone, and more emotion. It seems like Steve is always the blend of the other two players. Joe has become more musical than technical (not in the least a bad thing), and the other player (in this case Petrucci) is the technical wizard. Steve is the perfect blend of flash and substance (with the exception of Eric Johnson's appearances).

Any fan of Dream Theater, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai knows that their individual live albums are 2-CD affairs with extended solos and amazing technicality. So then why are we reduced to what could be mistaken for a sound check?

Do yourself a favor, buy these guys' solo albums (or DT albums for Petrucci), and be amazed at full length album of virtuosity. Come back to this only if you want the jam or Vai's set.

1800iareyay | 2/5 |


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