ed aksed if i wanted to go see eric johnson and joe satriani at the wiltern. he had an extra ticket.

i haven’t seen eric johnson peform in at least 15 years. i think he’s great. i love his songwriting and his playing and attention to detail. his first couple of albums were really influential. i saw him at the roxy a long, this long time ago and then again at the wadsworth theater in westwood.

i’d never seen joe satriani except for the dvd of g3. i like flying in a blue dream and always with me always with you and that’s about it. but i’m trying to do stuff i wouldn’t normally do and leave the house.

as he did in the g3 dvd, ej played a short set. he’s a definite guitar geek. he wears his guitar way too high and doesn’t move well on stage and is busy pressing pedals and playing intricate stuff while singing. but, like i said, i like him and he doesn’t really fit in to the standard model of axe shredder guy and i like that. some of his stuff gets a bit new agey and i’m pretty sure he’s “spiritual” and that always sucks.

but, it was a fine shoe and good to see that he’s still out there doing records, making money and touring.

eric johnson had a new bass player who i really liked. i’ve always liked his bass players. they play really simple stuff which enhances the song and occasionally throw in something that makes you think “i really should practice so much more…”

it made me miss playing with the thornbirds and i’m itching to get the record out so we can play again and maybe even tour or play some shoes outside of l.a.

based on the reaction to his entrance, it seems the crowd was there to see joe satriani. it’s him, a really good drummer who reminds me of klong, a bass player who looks like any bass player in “all access” magazine. probably 45, long 80’s hair, paunchy, jeans and tennis shoes. one of those guys who looks like he works at guitar center and was in a band called Divine Ampage who had a development deal with Capitol but…

i digress.

then there was another guitar player.

in the g3 dvd’s, satrian used loops and samples for guitar and keyboard parts and i’m fine with that because they’re just repetitive shit and everyone’s there to see satriani practice, i mean play his guitar, anyway, so a loop of power chords or pedaling an e over some progression seems fine to me. but instead of doing that this time, they hired some poor fucker to stand over in the dark with a tiny little amp and play the bonehead backing parts. truly rhythm guitar player time. he wore all black so he blended in to his amp and was never acknowledged by the other guys in the band.

steve vai would bring along mike kenneally or some other great guitar player and would share the stage with him and it added to the show.

satriani and the manager of the simi valley guitar center bass department acted as if this poor fucker wasn’t there. and the guy looked like he didn’t want to be there either. like he had to drive his own car to the gigs. really really really fucking weird. and, you know, he was playing shit anyone could play, which made the treatment of him make sense on some level but then i kept thinking about steve vai hiring someone who pushed him to play better and it began really bumming me out. i mean, when i wasn’t falling asleep.

i was literally falling asleep.

“oh… another solo… oh cool, another ending where he finds a really cool feedback tone and plays with it for way too long… oh, another “unexpected key change”; neat.

i looked around the near capacity audience. everyone was just sitting there. even the people in the front row were sort of bored looking.

or maybe they were just totally blown away by the amazing shredding that satch was laying down.

i don’t know. i left before it was over.

i am jaded or something. that or i have taste. or it’s just not my cup of shred.

russ can play all that stuff. and it’s so fascinating to watch, but it’s like watching plate spinning for 2 hours. no one watches plate spinning for two hours except other plate spinners.

i can watch russ do it for about 8 minutes. i think that’s about the amount of time he enjoys playing that stuff.

wheedly wheedly wheedly wheedly wwowowowowowowo browda browda browda browda wwwwwwwwoooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhaaaa wheedly wheedly wheedly yawwwwwwwwowowowowow browwwww. THANK YOU!

“this next one is about a robot who dreams he’s a human!”

wheedly wheedly wheedlay browdooooowww browwwowowowowoww reeeeeeewooooooooooooooohaaaa boam! THANK YOU!

bye, bye.