Joe Satriani - LIVE: IndigO2, London 2013

Unstoppable Momentum Tour
June 18 (20:30-22:30)
Capacity 2700

Joe Satriani is clearly not a man to sit still. Ever. He must be a nightmare car passenger. No sooner had Chickenfoot decided to take some time off he was back in the studio to record his next solo album, and immediately upon its release he's on the road across most of Europe for 44 shows.

The final show of the ten-night UK leg, and 25th of the tour overall, saw Joe play a second London show after hitting Shepherd's Bush Empire the night before. He's never played two London shows on the same tour before, and the crowd for this second night at the prestigious IndigO2 club inside the O2 Arena (with Pet Shop Boys to contend with in the main arena) showed there's easily enough interest in his performances to validate what probably seemed like an ambitious idea initially.

When it comes to instrumental guitar music, the hardest part can often be maintaining listener interest, and very few performers are able to do that for the duration of a two-hour live show. After all, there's nothing to sing along to, and often the music is either so complex, or so fast, there's even very little foot-tapping or head-nodding action to be had either. But Satriani is one of the few, along with the incredibly versatile Steve Morse, and ever-lively Paul Gilbert, capable of genuinely entertaining an audience with his impossible playing.

The set was perhaps a little overloaded with songs from new album Unstoppable Momentum, with ten of the disc's 11 tracks being aired, but again given the nature of instrumental music, familiarity isn't necessarily the most important factor. Nevertheless, several classics like Always With Me, Always With You, Satch Boogie, and Ice 9 (plus the lesser-played Devil's Slide from much-maligned experimental album Engines of Creation) were scattered between the new songs and produced knowing, rousing cheers from fans throughout the night.

And Joe wasn't alone in his guitar prowess either. His current band includes Mike Keneally, sometimes on keyboards, but at other times on second guitar, and the ex-Frank Zappa virtuoso could more than give Satriani competition during some fascinating guitar duals, something which Joe hasn't always had the pleasure of being able to do in his shows; and it was clear from is face that it really was a very genuine pleasure.

Satriani is blessed with both a natural ability to entertain, and a dedicated fanbase, so not only will he always be able to come back and do this again at any time, the idea of playing multiple London shows (and perhaps the same thing in other major European cities) is now very much on the table as well. Chances are good that he'll be back soon.

“ capable of genuinely entertaining an audience ”

Setlist: Cool #9 / Devil's Slide / Flying In A Blue Dream / Unstoppable Momentum / The Weight of The World / Ice 9 / The Crush of Love / I'll Put A Stone On Your Cairn / A Door Into Summer / Lies And Truths / Satch Boogie / Shine On American Dreamer / Three Sheets To The Wind / Cryin' / Jumpin' In / Jumpin' Out / A Celebration / Always With Me, Always With You / Surfing With The Alien // Crowd Chant / Summer Song / Rubina

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Gigs, Instrumental, Rock,

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