Photos + Review: Joe Satriani at the Balboa Theatre (San Diego, CA)

Joe Satriani (San Francisco, CA)
March 1st, 2016
The Balboa Theatre in San Diego, CA

Thirty years ago Joe Satriani released his first solo album, Not of This Earth which proved beyond any doubts that Satriani’s talent is NOT from this earth.  Earlier this year, his 15th studio album, Shockwave Supernova was received with great critical acceptance further proving his beyond human talent.  So what is it like to experience Satriani live?  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

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And I stand by this picture.  I was five songs into his set and this was the best way I could describe the experience of his concert.  Now, it’s been two hours since the concert has ended and these are still the words most suited to describe it.

Satriani on guitar is just pure magic.  He holds the audience captive with every chord and every riff.  For the entire two set show you could see the struggle of the audience trying hard to contain their cheers in order to maintain that posed attitude the venue seemed to demand.  The feet however, they couldn’t quite be stopped from moving and more than a few guests just couldn’t resist jumping, as the captivating crescendos moved them.  I couldn’t help but notice the ushers having to remind fans to stay seated and that they were returning to the same people throughout the night -a struggle I perfectly understand.  I am pretty shy and tend to enjoy hiding behind my camera, but after the two song limit in the photo pit I decided against going back to my seat and rather stand by the soundboard where I felt I could observe the crowd’s reaction perfectly.  While at the same time delivering the permanent standing ovation Satriani deserves.

Kudos to the light engineers, a lot of times at other shows graphics and lights can be distracting, in this case they were just perfect.  They were subtle at times though still captivating and capable of painting an on point visual representation of his music.  They moved you and pulled you in even closer to the stage.

Satriani played two entire sets plus an encore of pure musical bliss.  Granted, he has the material to cover such a lengthy set but most of all he has the pure talent to keep you engaged the entire time.  Not many musicians could do so.

I left the theatre for maybe 4 minutes to grab a glass of wine and seriously regretted it. Mostly because I spilled half of it during my quick and apparently clumsy run back to the soundboard.  Needless to say I stayed put the remainder of the show.  Personal highlights of the night: “Friends,” “Goodbye Supernova,” “Big Bad Moon,” and of course, “Surfing With The Alien.”

Satriani is on tour until March 19th, check out his website to find out if he is stopping near you and if he is GET YOUR TICKET!  It will be the experience of your concert life GUARANTEED!

Setlist
Set 1
Shockwave Supernova
Flying in a Blue Dream
Ice 9
Crystal Planet
Not of This Earth
On Peregrine Wings
Friends
Time
If I Could Fly
Butterfly and Zebra
Cataclysmic
Summer Song
Set 2
Drum solo (Marco Minnemenn)
Crazy Joey
All of My Life
Keyboard solo (Mike Keneally)
Luminous Flash Giants
Always With Me, Always With You
Guitar, Bass, and Keyboard Jam
God Is Crying
If There Is No Heaven
Goodbye Supernova
Satch Boogie
Encore
Big Bad Moon
Surfing With the Alien
Ending Jam

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