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Steve Vai Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai - G3 Live In Concert album cover
3.75 | 53 ratings | 7 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Live, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Cool n9
2. Flying In A Blue Dream
3. Summer Song
4. Zap
5. Manhattan
6. Camel's Night Out
7. Answers
8. For The Love Of God
9. The Attitude Song
10. Going Down
11. My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama
12. Red House

Releases information

Sony Music Entertainment Inc (1997)

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STEVE VAI Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai - G3 Live In Concert ratings distribution

(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

STEVE VAI Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai - G3 Live In Concert reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Menswear
3 stars After the incredibely slick Live in Denver, this pales a tad.

In all 3 of my DVDs of the incredible trios, this is my last choice for a merry time. Perhaps the choice of Eric Johnson is one that heads more in a relax sphere of sound. His talent is obviously not on the entertainment departement, althought his albums are fun to listen to. Basicallly he just doesn't really fit in the picture, with his pretty little songs and his massive ear protectors; just like Diet Pepsi: one calorie...not aggressive!

Again as usual, Vai is stealing the show with mature songwriting, less popish than Satriani. Good show by the guy with a big hat, supporting with a precise rythm guitar.

It's a first try and the filming is kinda lame. The show just doesn't lift to what the G3 is now.

Not essential, but nicely completes the collection.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars The first time that I listened to this album was in a record shop, while I was seeing some CDs, in 1998. The music of this CD started to have my attention. I asked to one of the employees of the record shop "Who plays that?", and he showed me the cover. I bought the CD after that.

This CD was recorded by 3 guitarists which play with different styles: Satriani, more Heavy Metal; Eric Johnson, Blues / Jazz-Rock; Steve Vai, Prog Metal. The styles of Satriani and Vai are more similar and related, IMO, because Satriani was one of Vai`s guitar teachers in his youth.

Satriani plays with a trio (guitar/bass/drums) plus maybe with some synth sequencers. His playing is more heavy as I said before."Flying in a Blue Dream" is the best of his songs in this CD.

Johnson plays with a quartet (guitar/keyboards/bass/drums). His style is more "relaxed". Maybe his stle is more "refined" in comparison to the other 2 guitarists. "Manhattan" is the best of his songs included in this album, a song more closer to the Jazz-Rock style, IMO.

Vai plays with a quartet too, like Johnson, but his keyboard player also plays guitar and an electric sitar. The style of Vai is the most Progressive, IMO. "For the Love of God" is his best song in this album, IMO.

The last 3 tracks of this album are played by the 3 guitarists together, accompanied by Satriani`s band. They play 3 heavy songs, sharing lead guitar parts.

This is an interesting album. I also saw the VHS video version of this album which also includes 12 songs, but at least 3 songs are different titles in comparison to the CD version. The video is also interesting, more for guitar players who want to learn some "guitar playing tricks" from these 3 very good guitarists, but it is also good to see playing the other musicians, in particular the drummers, who also are very good.

Review by imoeng
3 stars G3 1997 Live In Concert

The first G3 concert to be filmed and recorded, but the second G3 concert after the previous G3 concert in 1996. The personnel were the same with the 1996 G3, which were Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Eric Johnson. Well for those of you who don't know what G3 is, it's an annual concert which held by Joe Satriani and his ex-student, Steve Vai, along with another guitarist as a guest. The concert usually is divided into four sections, so each guitarist will presents their songs, after that, the concert will be ended with G3 jamming.

At that time, Joe Satriani's band lineup included Stu Hamm on bass and Jeff Campitelli on drums. Joe Satriani played Cool #9 from the album Joe Satriani, Flying In A Blue dream from the album which has the same name and Summer Song from Time Machine album. Joe Satriani's songs characteristics are identical with blues riffs, possibly because his ultimate influence is Jimi Hendrix.

Steve Vai's band was Mike Mangini on drums, Mike Keneally on guitar & keyboards, and Phil Bynoe on bass. Vai played Answers from Passion And Warfare album, For The Love Of God from the same album and The Attitude Song. Steve Vai, in my opinion, is the best guitarist among the other three in terms on techniques, also his stage performances, really great! Sometimes, he can play very beautiful riff which has deep feeling.

Eric Johnson's band was Stephen Barber on keyboards, Roscoe Beck on bass and Brannen Temple on drums. He is not my favorite guitarist but the songs were really amazing. I like Manhattan so much and I couldn't stop listening when I bought the CD for the first time. The other songs were Zap and Camel's Night Out. Eric Johnson style was pretty much like Joe Satriani, blues style with elements of jazz, calm but beautiful performance.

The jamming session used Jeff Beck's Going Down, Frank Zappa's My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama and Red House from Jimi Hendrix. I think Frank Zappa's song was suggested by Steve Vai, since his ultimate influence is Frank Zappa, also he was in Zappa's band before his solo career. Jimi Hendrix's song was likely to be suggested by Joe Satriani. The jam session was very great! Satriani's beautiful tone with Vai's crazy technique along with Johnson's calm guitar, real beautiful.

I give three stars, because for me it's not the best G3 ever and maybe because it wasn't great as the others. Owh, I have seen it as well, since I have the video : )

Timur Imam Nugroho - Indonesia

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This isn't the shred-fest you would think it would be. Oh sure there is a lot of solos that at times are done at the speed of light but there is also a lot of slower, intricate, and at times soaring guitar melodies. On this disc we are treated to Satriani, Johnson and Vai each doing three of their own songs with musicians helping out, while the final three songs they all join in to play three cover songs.12 songs in total.

Satriani gets things started with "Cool No.9" a slower paced song that picks it up a couple of notches 3 minutes in. Satriani is grooving now in this great song. "Flying In A blue Dream" starts off so beautifully.The guitar is played so tastefully and wonderfully, and if I could feel this song I would describe it as a warm summer's breeze. "Summer Song" rocks as Satriani lights it up ! Satriani and his bass player trade solos in this one. Eric Johnson's turn and he starts it off with "Zap" and right away there is a huge difference in the sound and style of his guitar playing compared with Satriani. He has more of a blues flavour and the tone of his guitar is warm and softer. The drummer almost steals the show in this song.

"Manhattan" features some good bass playing while Johnson plays such a warm and subtle melody. His final tune "Camel's Night Out" has some nice intricate playing on it. Vai's turn as he opens with "Answers" and some killer licks while "For The Love Of God" is more laid back with some beautiful soaring guitar. The song ends with some experimental sounds."The Attitude Song" is a song i'm very familiar with, as it was the music for the intro on a news rock radio show I used to listened to faithfully years ago. Some scalding solos in this one. They all get together to do a Jeff Beck song called "Going Down" and it's pretty powerful with all three guys playing guitar. Satriani is on vocals. "My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama" is a Frank Zappa tune that opens with heavy guitar that softens quickly as the vocals come in. Again a great full sound. "Red House" is a Hendrix song and is of course very bluesy, nice solo from Johnson 3 minutes in.

All in all I like this release a lot but then i'm a big guitar fan. I noticed Mike Keneally who plays with Vai on this record says "Thanks Frank Zappa forever".

Review by progrules
4 stars A live album of the illustrious G3 on progarchives ! Who would have thought that. Out of these three guys only Steve Vai is on our site in category Prog related. For Joe Satriani there have been many pleads to get him included but up till now it has not yet been rewarded with entry and frankly I'm ok with that despite Joe's obvious high qualities. But I wouldn't be surprised if he is being added some day anyway.

Despite the fact I'm a huge guitar fan I'm not really a die-hard fan of G3 and actually I don't know why. Maybe it's a bit too much showing off what they do, a bit too much in the vein of Yngwie Malmsteen in the sense of: look how good we are on guitar, we're going to get you into raptures ! I am someone who likes a bit of modesty on stage (like TFK, Jadis and Enchant for instance) and eventhough I have no doubt these are on itself sympethatic guys I'm not exactly into their presentation on stage. Anyway, does that mean I dislike this live treat ? Not at all, I think this is a very good display of their guitar skills and enjoy playing the CD a lot.

But that doesn't go for every track on the album. I will do a quick rating by track to show how I feel about them: 1. Cool no.9: 3,75 * (pretty progressive for Joe's standard) 2. Flying in a blue dream: 4 *. 3. Summer song: 3,75 * ( in fact all 3 tracks show Joe's at his best more or less) 4. Zap: 4 * 5. Manhattan 4,25 * (great bluesy track, I really love this one) 6. Camel's night out: 3,75 * (Johnson taking it somewhat easier than Satriani in his contribution) 7. Answers: 3,25 * (one of the lesser tracks) 8. For the love of God 4 * (if it wasn't for the last 2 minutes I would have given it 5) 9. The attitude song: 3,25 * (Vai's famous middle track is by far the best of his contribution). 10. Going down: 3,5 * (this is what I was talking about: Joe is introducing this song with: Oh man you can't believe what's coming now !! I'd say: let the audience be the judge of that) 11. My guitar wants to kill your mama 3 * (what on earth is this for a title ??? (Zappa I read), not even a great song) 12. Red House: 4,75 * (best for last: this fantasic blues song was originally by Hendrix and is the absolute highlight of the album).

So that means a total average of 3,8 resulting in 4 stars

Review by Petrovsk Mizinski
4 stars The brains behind the original G3 concept was indeed Joe Satriani, a guitar virtuoso respected among musicians and non-muscians alike. For years, guitarists all over the world had been hoping one day Steve Vai and Satch would do a project together. Arguably, Satch did even better with the concept of G3, where a third guitarist would come along for the show.

In this 1996 G3 incarnation, when this recorded, Joe Satriani's band was just a trio, with Jeff Campitelli on the drums and bass virtuoso Stuart Hamm. Each guitarist gets a 3 song individual set, and Joe chose to play Cool #9, Flying In A Blue Dream and Summer Song. Cool #9 is a really bluesy and jazzy number, and certainly features many of Satriani's trademark virtuosic licks. A song that never fails to delight me, and Joe seems to get this really cool emotional vibe that surpasses the studio album version. Flying In A Blue Dream is a mystical, dreamy song, that just takes me off into an adventure. Again what I love about this is that he doesn't just play exactly as per the studio album version, and really seems to give the audience and me the sense that he is trying to create an individual vibe and magic for that night, to distinguish it from the studio version. Summer Song is very upbeat and cheerful sounding, while going through a variety of key/modal changes to keep thing interesting for the listening. Although if I must pick one song that emotes to me the most of his set, it would Cool #9

I had never heard any Eric Johnson prior to owning this CD, so I had no idea what to expect. I was immediately struck with Eric Johnson's guitar, as it was just so remarkably different from Joe's or Vai's tone, or many virtuoso players for that matter. Fortunately, Johnson certainly delivered the goods here, with two more upbeat songs and my favorite of his set, Manhattan, a bluesy/jazzy ballad with a fantastic sense of melody and some very touching guitar solos indeed.

Next up, we get the ever crazy Vai. He immediately gets into a more upbeat song, Answers. For me, what was a really cool thing, was that section after the first round of applause starting at around 5:10, where he seems to be improvising. Some of the licks he plays here , despite the speed, are so touching and melodic. The Attitude song is one of his older songs, and as the name implies, the music is full of attitude, and is a fairly fast paced rocker. But the highlight of his set? For The Love Of God, no questions about it. A ballad of such intense emotions, you cannot help but be moved to tears everytime. Vai makes the guitar scream, wail and cry with his soul and as much virtuosity he displays, the song always feels so human and warm to my heart. The only negative is perhaps that odd noise/feedback section he adds on the end drags on a little too much, but it's not something that really worries me.

The Jam. The moment guitarists around the world had been waiting for, yet didn't even realise all those years they had been waiting for something so incredible. Finally all our hyper talented 3 Gs come out to stun to the audience and of couse the listener of the CD at home or where ever. There are 3 songs here, and they follow the general format of one G on vocals, singing through the verses and choruses, and then finally we get all 3 Gs to jam over the chord progressions. Going Down is a blues rocker, and Satch is remarkable restrained here, but this is not a bad thing. Vai is more prominent with his soloing, but it's Eric Johnson that actually manages to play the most technically challenging licks here, but Johnson does it in such a way you almost don't pay attention to his technicality because his soloing is so brilliant. While Joe doesn't have a great vocal ability, luckily this blues rocker is not out of his reach.

We have a Zappa classic, which features the original opening main riff sounding almost heavy metal here. Vai is of course on vocal, and this is a fine homage to a song from the genius man Zappa. Again, the soloing is a masterclass in how not only to play super fast, but playing fast with tasteful phrasing, melody and feel. Fantastic stuff. Red House is of course, the Hendrix classic. Johnson is on vocals, and while he doesn't exactly sound like Jimi, it's pretty clear he loves Jimi's music. These guys are known as instrumental rock guitarists, all very well versed in Jazzy playing and more, but our 3 Gs can play blues even better than many people that are strict blues players. I could easily feel the blues happening in this, although arguably Vai is probably the weaker of the 3 guys in his blues ability, while Joe just seems like a complete natural, with Eric Johnson being just as good.

An all round amazing package, and for all the fans of virtuosic guitar here on PA, you could do a lot worse than check this out. Here are some of the guys that have been massive influences not only on guitarists in general, but certainly many prominent prog rock/metal virtuosos have been influenced by the G3 guys, and this a great place to see where so many of today's modern guitarists got their inspiration from.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From the opening of Joe Satriani's squelching lead over a soft backdrop of Cool No. 9, to the group's extended jam of "Red House," this is a live show that is an electric guitar-lover's paradise. "Flying in a Blue Dream" is one of my favorite Satriani pieces because it shows him being quite economical, and the rhythm is exquisite. "Summer Song," which is no song at all since it lacks lyrics, has a fantastic introduction. I'll go ahead and say that I find Eric Johnson to be a more enjoyable guitarist than his stage mates, and this for three reasons: First, his tone is meticulously crafted. His pick attack is also virtually inaudible. Second, he doesn't play blistering solos throughout- he engages in clean, lovely chord progressions and doesn't try to play a hundred notes a second when it isn't called for. Third, Johnson gives his rhythm section a place to shine (in "Zap," his rhythm section, particularly Roscoe Beck, upstages him). "Manhattan" is the crowning moment of the entire set, which sounds tremendously better than the original even. I love performing this piece myself, as it has not only beautifully crafted solos, but exquisite and shimmering clean guitar passages. "Camel's Night Out" is another good piece, and an unexpected one (one might have thought that the worn "Cliffs of Dover" would make an appearance). Steve Vai opens up with "Answers," and it's a rhythmic jungle gym, full of various sounds and great bass playing. Halfway through, it's a mess though, with very little coherence that becomes another one hundred notes a minute bit of business. "For the Love of God" is Vai's most melodic piece, and my favorite from his set. "The Attitude Song" (also not a song) is full of insane guitar playing and whammy bar abuse, but it serves its purpose. The finale features all three guitarists, one of them on vocals, performing three heavy blues covers. Satriani isn't much of a singer, but this music isn't meant to showcase the vocals anyway. Jeff Beck's "Going Down" is boring to me, but Johnson does a great job with his stunning precision and stellar tone. Frank Zappa's "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama" is likewise dull; one can only take so much shredding and lazy singing. "Red House" by Jimi Hendrix is a nine minute jam, and has a real smokehouse feel, with Johnson's soft voice handling the lyrics. This is the best of the three cooperative performances, as the guitarists compliment one another well, are panned quite nicely, and play so tastefully, even when at high speeds. All in all, this is a great live recording for anyone remotely interested in guitar virtuosos or people wanting to hear one of any of these guitarists for the first time.

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