The G3 Tour Surfs into the Mahaffey Theatre

By on February 4, 2018


With Phil Collen, John Petrucci, and Joe Satriani

Mahaffey Theater

3 February 2017

             With over 10 million albums sold, 15 Grammy nominations, and pupils such as Kevin Cadogan, Steve Vai, and Kirk Hammett, it’s safe to say Joe Satriani not only is an amazing musician, but he knows talent when he sees it. Accompanied by John Petrucci and Phil Collen on the US leg of the G3 tour, these three guitar legends tolled into Saint Petersburg, FL on the 3rd of February.

While in the eyes of many, the Mahaffey Theatre is a venue to take in plays, or more ‘classical’ forms of music, these three shredded their way through a three and a half hour show cranked up to 11.

            With Phil Collen (of DefLepperd) taking the opening slot, this show was kicking off with a lot of promise. Chipping away at the chords as if they were kindling, and accompanied by some of his bandmates from Delta Deep, including Debbie Blackwell-Cook, they blistered through a half hour set. This set was nothing more than an appetizer of what was to come. Very limited actual singing, just face melting chords, that left the crowd simply mesmerized.

            John Petrucci is literally a legend in his own right. A graduate of the Berkley School of Music, he is also one of the few guitarists to utilize a seven sting guitar as his average axe. To say he takes full advantage of the seventh string would be the understatement of the century.

With some of the fastest picking fingers in music today, an ear for rhythm and arrangement John brings a taste of the riffs of the 80’s back to life. Accompanied by some of his bandmates from Dream Theater including drummer Mike Mangini, John showcased why he has been asked to join G3 almost every tour. Highlights from his set included the main theme from Hans Zimmer’s “Wonder Woman” and “Jaws of Life”

    What can I say about Joe Satriani? This is a man who regularly picks his guitar strings with his teeth. A man who is considered to have a PhD in “Whammy Barology”. Suffice to say, when it comes to playing the guitar, Joe is the textbook definition of ‘the man’.

With keyboardist/guitarist Mike Kenneally, bassist Brian Beller and drummer Joe Travers backing him up and keeping up with his jaw dropping tempo changes and riffs, this set left no stone in the jamming spectrum unturned. Going from speed metal to simple melodies, this set completed everything you could expect to end the evening.

The set included 6 songs from Joe’s new release What Happens Next and was closed with 2 fan favorites and classics in “Always With Me, Always With You” and “Summer Song”

            But wait! There’s more!! Rolling almost seamlessly right into the full G3 jam session, Joe and his band were rejoined by John, Phil, and Debbie. With the entire audience on their feet the whole time, they played back and forth, while utilizing the incredibly broad vocal range from Debbie.

These three covered a broad spectrum of tastes while keeping up with one another. Yet the most sensational part would be a rendition of ‘Superstitious’ that lasted well over 10 minutes. For such a variety of playing styles and musical backgrounds, they play together like a well-oiled machine. If you only decide to see one tour this year, this would easily be in my top 5 choices. It’s truly hard to beat this type of musical variety, and quality of entertainment on one ticket.




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