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

JOHN PETRUCCI, STEVE VAI, JOE SATRIANI- G3 LIVE IN TOKYO

Steve Vai

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imoeng
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars G3 2005 Live In Tokyo

Well personally, I think this CD or album or concert is far from the real definition of progressive music. But because I am a true fan of Dream Theater, especially John Petrucci, I will write a review the best I can.

John Petrucci is definitely one of the most influential progressive or progressive metal artists, because of his ability to bend his songs from an ordinary path to extraordinary. Moreover, since progressive music requires virtuosity of the player, John Petrucci is a great progressive artist. In G3 2005 Live In Tokyo, he played 2 songs from his single album, Suspended Animation, which I think influenced by his fellow G3s, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. The songs that he played were Glasgow Kiss and Damage Control. Let's look at the song one by one. Glasgow Kiss is an amazing song with great arpeggios in it. It is amazing how some simple chords can be break down into great arpeggios that create an amazing song. The second song was Damage Control, which is more metal and heavy than the first song. This song is pretty much like his solos in Dream Theater, heavy but still has deep feeling in it through beautiful tones. The downside is that John Petrucci lacks of stage action, but its okay, consider he has to concentrate full on his playing.

Next is Steve Vai. For me, Steve Vai is a somewhat progressive artist, because of his ability to play and produve extraordinary songs, just like John Petrucci. In addition, Steve Vai without a doubt is one of the best guitar players. He played a song from a very old (doesn't mean bad) album, Passion and Warfare, the song called The Audience Is Listening. Just a sneak peak at this song, Vai could create a sound like human's sound, I mean, when humans are talking and he really did that. The other songs are taken from his latest album, Real Illusions: Reflections, called Building The Church and K'm-Pee-Du-Wee. Different with John Petrucci, I think Steve Vai had too much stage action.

Last but not least is our blues-rock god, Joe Satriani. He played three songs, one from The Extremist album and two from Is There Love In Space? album. The song from The Extremist is called War and the other songs were Up In Flames and Searching.

The G3 jam was truly amazing, the combination of great musicians, John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy. They played a song from the god of all guitarists, Jimi Hendrix, a song called Foxy Lady, then a song from ZZ Top, called La Grange and also a song from Deep Purple, Smoke On The Water. Personally I think Joe Satriani was not very dominant in the jamming session. On the other hand, John Petrucci and Steve Vai were trying to beat each other in terms of technical skills and the musical tones.

Overall impression, I think it is just good, regarding it is not really a progressive music CD/album/concert. However, I terms of the show and overall concert, two thumbs up! Timur Imam Nugroho - Indonesia

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Send comments to imoeng (BETA) | Report this review (#78327)
Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to 1800iareyay (BETA) | Report this review (#102639)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Clearly not as crazy as Live in Denver.

Okay, I'm talking about the DVD VERSION, and since it's not available, here I go.

When you attempt a G3, you wanna have entertainment, amazement and good songs; because at 80$ a ticket, the show's gotta have rock protein to sustain the interest.

So what does this DVD delivers?

As before, you can expect a good performance by Satriani, a great performance by Vai but oddly a so-so one by Petrucci. Why Petrucci's the weakest link? Well, John Petrucci's repertoire is limited but that's not the point this time. With Dream Theater, he can share the spotlight with other stars (Portnoy and Labrie are quite fun to watch), but in this show he has to create an atmosphere by himself...and he sucks at it.

Don't get me wrong, Petrucci's songs are decent but way too close to what Satriani is doing (except they're longer and less creative). So you have two shows with almost the same sound, but Petrucci's lack of showmanship makes this DVD a disapointment for me. Maybe I'm too harsh on the event, but with Malmsteen on board in Denver, this show pales in good humor, energy and the ending jams are boring (sigh). But there's still Vai's crew who gives a zing to this show, and Vai's songs are of course, catchy, creative and above competition.

Anyway, I wouldn't start here to grab the full experience of the G3. Still good and entertaining, but sometimes, the magic just isn't here.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#113524)
Posted Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
Petrovsk Mizinski
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars G3: Live In Tokyo is the third G3 performance to be filmed and recorded, but this here is the CD version, so I'll be speaking about it from this media. The inclusion of John Petrucci interested me, since until listening to this CD, I had only heard his work on Dream Theater.

Petrucci was promoting his debut solo album at the time, and as a result he plays song off that album. Glasgow Kiss, which is the first song, has a nice opening lick from Petrucci and indeed it starts off well in general. The way he wrote the song also shows he didn't just write for the guitar, but for the music, as is really shown with the cool interplay part between Dave La Rue and Petrucci around 3 minutes. The middle section of the song is just stunning. Petrucci puts heaps of soul into this solo, and it really just hits my heart in many ways, truly touching indeed. Damage Control is the more progressive and complex of the two songs. Lots of variety in moods and feelings in this song, and some very intense moments too. A nice touch is La Rue's bass solo, something I didn't see coming given that it is in fact a solo album piece.

Vai's set is good too, with the classic insane rocker The Audience Is Listening, with his it's-so-silly-it's-cool wah wah pedal antics during the verse. Billy Sheehan gives a thundering bass solo, a pleasant surprise and a welcome addition to the song Building The Church is a really great composition. Just listen to the part where Vai is doing the two handed tapping over the keyboard playing chords and it just fits so well, technical yet highly musical. Heavy song, but a lot of feeling too. K'm-Pee-Du-Wee has some beautiful interplay between Sheehan and Vai during the beginning of the song and in general a nice melodic song, but the pace is hampered due to Vai's excessive noodling around in the middle of the song.

Joe set's is pretty good. The best of his set, Searching. Melodic, tasteful, soulful and exceptional variation in emotions and moods throughout, just amazing. You can even feel a story happening, a story of Searching for someone, for something, and perhaps getting lost along the way. The way the song ends, just gives me the feeling that whatever is, whatever was being searched for, was never found.

The Jam is awesome, perhaps flawed at some points. Satch has a great voice for Foxy Lady, despite his rather limited vocal range, but since Hendrix was never known for a remarkable vocal range either, I think Satch's voice worked extremely well in the context. Blistering playing from Petrucci and Satch, but unfortunately not so much for Vai. For the next two songs, this pattern continues, with Satch and Petrucci just always sounding so consistent. Vai would occasionally put in sweep picked arpeggios that just didn't sound musical in the context and some of his other phrases just missed the spot sometimes.

A very good CD, one for a prog fan, and of course one a virtuoso guitar fan can seriously enjoy.

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Send comments to Petrovsk Mizinski (BETA) | Report this review (#176322)
Posted Tuesday, July 08, 2008 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars For me G 3 is regular Joe Satriani established live guitar commercial show. Their level of musicianship is high enough they be interesting for some listening, but the idea and realisation is too "money-maker" oriented to be attractive. Satriani at almost annual basis is forming his 3 well known rock guitarists live show for world tour . So, usually these activities give for all team great promotion and some money for paying their bills. According to rules of that genre, it's difficult to wait for some innovative things from that kind of projects. This albums contains all should be placed there as well. The beginning of album is two John Petrucci compositions ( from his solo album). Glasgow Kiss is quite simple and old fashioned heavy metal composition with melodic elements oriented to attract most conservative part of public. Damage Control (from the same album) is heavier and more technical thing. There at least you can hear that Petrucci is technical guitar player. He used this tour as presentation for his solo debut Suspended Animation as well. (And his support team was similar to Dream Theatre - Dave LaRue - bass guitar and Mike Portnoy ? drums) Steve Vai has three solo compositions on Disc One. One from his old album, and two more fresh. There is much more interest in his playing. According to the rules of genre, he plays long solo as well, but differently from Petrucci cliché-type playing, he shows his guitar style with really interesting technique and even some space for improvisation. This is guitar - led progressive metal and is quality one. Disc Two contains of three Joe Satriani compositions and all three guitarists jam (which is always main attraction on any G-3 album). Joe Satriani doesn't bring no surprises as well ? classic heavy metal guitar compositions you're waiting from him. Enough acoustic, enough melodic, with some demonstration of playing technique, for sure. Nothing exceptional, but nice competent pieces. All three guitarists jam is most interesting place in any G-3 album. There three classic rock covers were used (ZZ Top's "La Grange," Jimi Hendrix's "Foxey Lady" and Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water"). Great classic by themselves, it is always interesting to listen them in three guitarists jam version. Not the best G-3 project's album ( but not the worst as well). For sure will attract guitar fanatics.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#256182)
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The G3 is a concept well known by guitar players all around the world. It's one chance to see three of the greatest players of history on the same stage. It's an educational chance. It's an impressive journey. It worth for those who are guitarist or a musician and it's certainly a challenge to the mind. In this particular production, the guitar gods JOE SATRIANI and STEVE VAI are joined by another god, JOHN PETRUCCI.

The album is really what you can expect from those players: complex arrangements, different styles and techniques, and guitar solos, a lot of them, all impressive and makes you wonder if we (them) already reach the top of chances to play the guitar. I think Petrucci's addition, after other guest players in earlier versions (such as Malmsteen and Johnson) is a more technical, less busy but gives a balance that you don't find in the other G3 albums. The two songs of John Petrucci are evidently different, more oriented to the structure and the composition and less interested in flashy solos. DT fans will love it, but I expect that all the haters can see what his style is all about and how great his proposal is. He really brings something different to the table and I enjoy more the composition and the development of a track better than the solos, I'm really pleased.

The other sets, both Vai and Satriani are flawless and top of their form, but I feel it's really the usual for them. Vai really is a showman and definitely knows his business well. The version of Building the Church is impressive and being aside of McAlpine and Sheehan is just too much for the same stage. Now, when the three of them are in the stage, there's when you can see the differences of the players. The jam is really the heaven for shredders, while I'm not that into crazy and unstoppable solos, I really enjoyed this section of the show. You can hear that perfect distortion and strong sound of Petrucci and his impressive speediness, while Vai does his usual "I-can-do-everything-with-the-guitar-and-always- have-fun", just a bit more interesting than Satriani's usual bluesy stuff.

This is a must have for any guitar player or musician aficionado. Maybe the best G3 production to date. A strong 4 star album. A real worth for your money. You, as a prog lover or rock lover, should give it a try. Great album.

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Send comments to jampa17 (BETA) | Report this review (#851306)
Posted Monday, November 05, 2012 | Review Permalink

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