Most helpful critical review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good playing; sets were too fragmented; sound problems
on December 28, 2002
I'll mention this straightaway: if you're a Satriani fan, you might be disappointed. I am, and I was. Still, this disc should provide enough minutes of cool licks and good rock effects to satisfy most fans of rock/blues guitar virtuosity.
Satriani. My favorite of the three in real life, but not in this show. Don't get me wrong: his stage presence and artistry were still awesome, and the songs did showcase Joe's adeptness in creating some great sound layering effects. But, I saw two big problems. First, there were only three songs (alas, everyone's allotment) that seemed to be spliced together out of a longer set (again, same with the others) that I would have enjoyed listening to. Second, I don't think a "power trio" set-up (no rhythm guitar) does justice to the band's repertoire of songs. As a glaring example, "Summer Song" sounds terribly thin with the guitar "way up here" and the bass "way down there." No middle. Thus, one of the best rock 'n' roll cruising songs is rendered nearly powerless in going from CD to G3. Oh well. Get Joe's "Live in San Francisco" two-disc DVD; it's awesome.
Johnson. The guitarist I was the least familiar with, but most impressed by. Although his fingering appears to be the more labored of the three, I thought the music was the most interesting, with a diverse fusion of rock/jazz/blues. Nothing much in terms of stage presence, yet all three songs were performed well and had me leaning toward the TV to watch the playing. Eric had four members in his band, adding a keyboardist to provide some rhythm and melodic complements. Unfortunately, this three-song clip didn't last much longer than fifteen minutes.
Vai. By far the biggest showman of the three, Steve performed the heaviest rock tunes. "The Attutute Song" especially jammed, but this and the two others had an overabundance of squealing guitar effects and feedback. His bandmate, Mike Keneally, added some much welcomed rhythm guitar, keyboards, and matched Steve lick for lick in some dual lead guitar work (impressive!). This set was the most musically well rounded of the three. Steve shows that he loves the rock 'n' roll stage, and his involved and animated persona is fun to watch.
G3. Three great tunes, although I agree with previous reviewers that there was something lacking in the sound. I listened to this on 3.1 (no speakers in the back) and found that Satriani and Johnson could be heard well enough, center and left, respectively, although the extreme separation was a little weird. Vai's guitar was relegated to the right channel, and seemed distant; you had to strain to hear his licks. Bit of a disappointment.
Overall this is a good, not great, rock guitar DVD which fell short in terms of length and sound quality.