By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa
Venue: Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, Florida–February 3, 2018-G3 Tour–Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, and Phil Collen
The G3 Tour arrived at the Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, Florida on February 3rd, the fifth and last stop of the Florida leg of the tour, which will continue across the U.S. and Canada until the end of February. Joe Satriani’s G3 Tour, a tradition which dates back to 1996, features John Petrucci (Dream Theater) and Phil Collen (Def Leppard, Delta Deep), before heading to Europe in the Spring with a line-up change to John Petrucci and former Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth.
The spacious The Mahaffey Theater was buzzing with plenty of metal heads and guitar music aficionados (a mostly male audience, I observed), who were eager for the show, which essentially featured three solo acts with short intermissions between sets and a grand finale featuring the ultimate guitar jam.
The first set of the evening was Phil Collen’s band Delta Deep, which just released a new live album East Coast Live on January 26th. Rock At Night has been following Delta Deep since its inception a few years ago and I was thrilled to actually see the live band, which features phenomenal singer Debbi Blackwell-Cook. Firstly, Collen showed off his nimble fingers and guitar skills playing “Quadrant 4” and “Yo 2 Joe”, which gave the audience a whole new respect. Forrest Robinson, drummer with Delta Deep, and Craig Martini, bassist, faithfully kept the rhythm going. The music then changed to a funky and groovin’ tone as Blackwell-Cook emerged to belt out “Bless the Blues” and one of my Delta Deep favs’ “Burnt Sally”. Collen has the perfect raspy voice for blues, which probably surprised a lot of Def Leppard fans in the audience. Another highlight was the band’s soulful rendition of Deep Purple’s “Mistreated” before ending with “Down in the Delta”.
The second set of the evening featured John Petrucci, who was supported by bassist, Dave LaRue, and drummer, Michael Mangini. Shred master Petrucci started out the set with a very heavy, dark tone by playing “Wrath of Amazons” and “Jaws of Life.” He then promised to lighten up the set with “The Happy Song” as he continued mesmerizing the audience with his technical prowness (unbelievable, really), while speaking in-between songs about much the G3 enjoyed being in the warm Florida weather. He was very humble, thanking the crowd for attending the concert, and smiled saying, “We give the metal to the G3!” Petrucci said the next song was “not on any album” and dove into “Glassy-Eyed Zombies” (a very cool song) and then introduced the last song saying “This one comes in handy if you are in a bar fight in Scotland” and began to play “Glasgow Kiss”.
After a short intermission, Joe Satriani hit the stage with his veteran bandmates the multi-talented Mike Keneally (keys, guitar), Joe Travers (drums), and Bryan Beller (bass). Satriani played “Energy” and my favorite, the bouncy “Catbot” which both are off of What Happens Next, which was released on January 12th. I have been wearing this CD out (I enjoy it that much). Satriani, with his signature shaved head and wrap around glasses, was on fire, as he moved about the stage, prancing, wincing with mouth open, as his hands slid up and down like lightning on the neck of the guitar. I swear, the man reeked of rock star charisma and really showed why he has been revered as a Guitar God the last 30 years. More songs from the new CD like the beautiful Asian-tinged “Cherry Blossoms” and Celtic-sounding “Thunder High on the Mountain” were real show stoppers, as the audience just sat quietly, as if at a classical concert—except this girl, was chair dancing the whole time to these funky grooves. Bryan Beller was a joy to watch as he swayed back and forth, with his long locks following, keeping time to the music. He encouraged the audience to clap to the beat, and showed enthusiasm as he slapped at the bass. Keneally adeptly switched between the keyboards and guitars, often in the same song, and played in unison with Satriani, showing much ease. It is said that he is the “G4” of the show. Satriani played a few classic tunes such as “Always With Me, and Always with You” and “Satch Boogie” from Surfing with the Alien as well as a more recent tune “Cataclysmic” from Shockwave Supernova.
Possibly the highlight of the evening was the finale when all of the bandmates gathered on the stage to play. Blackwell-Cook was moving, grooving, and singing her heart out to Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” and Stevie Wonder’s mega-hit “Superstition”. And with the soul, R&B, blues theme in tow, the final cherry on top was blues great Don Nix’s tune “Going Down”.
(In Order of Appearance)
Phil Collen & Delta Deep
Set List Phil Collen
- Quadrant 4
- Yo 2 Joe
- Bless These Blues
- Burnt Sally
- Down in the Delta
SET LIST John Petrucci
- Wrath of the Amazons
- Jaws of Life
- The Happy Song (formerly Cloud Ten)
- Damage Control
- Glassy-Eyed Zombies
- Glasgow Kiss
Setlist Joe Satriani
- Satch Boogie
- Cherry Blossoms
- Thunder High on the Mountain
- Always With Me, Always With You
- Summer Song
- Highway Star
- Going Down
Final G3 Jam
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
New York, NY
An Evening of Conversation with Joe, John, & Phil @ The Cutting Room NYC
Toyota Presents Oakdale Theatre
The Palace Theatre
New York, NY
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Toronto, ON CA
Hard Rock Live
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