G3 – Scorches the Stage The Merriam Theatre in Philadelphia

G3 2018 – Merriam Theater – Philadelphia, Pa – 02.17.18

Jam - 02 - 800

WARNING: Not Your Usual Campfire Chords


The G3 tour has been bringing Instrumental Rock to the masses since 1995.  G3 created by Joe Satriani, featuring the best guitarists in the world.  Throughout the years, the trio of guitarists have changed with some players remaining (Satriani), some players returning (John Petrucci), and some new players (Phil Collen of Def Leppard fame).  This is Collen’s first time, and you could tell he thoroughly enjoys the experience.  Joe started the evening with Quadrant 4 a Billy Cobham cover, and Yo 2 Joe (G4 Anthem) and then had his band “DELTA DEEP” join him on stage to perform Bless These Blues, Burnt Sally, Down in the Delta, and Mistreated (Deep Purple cover).  Collen’s blues solos during these songs were epic and a thunder clap to start the guitar journey. 

Next up was John Petrucci of Dream Theater, he jumped right in with Wrath of the Amazons, Jaws of Life.  John then said that since the two first songs were kind of dark, he would brighten things up with his “The Happy Song.” Next was Damage Control, and Glassy-Eyed Zombies, which he explained was not on any albums, and he only plays live.  He ended his set with Glasgow Kiss including a “Xanadu” (Rush) teaser as the outro.

After another short stage change, out came “Satch”, Joe Satriani.  Joe Satriani who is supporting his latest release “What Happens Next,” puts everything into his playing.  I never saw a guitarist accentuate each note with body and facial expressions throughout each song as Satriani. Joe had the longest set of the trio with 11 songs in total and included the big ones “Satch, Boogie, Always With Me- Always With You, and Summer Song.“

The evening ended with all the players from the entire evening getting on stage.  Picture the Hall of Fame jam each year, but an extra helping of solos.  It was such an amazing thing to witness as three guitar gods filled the stage and each brought their own flavor to each song.  Speaking of songs, they could not have made better choices.  They started with Deep Purple’s Highway Star, trading licks and solos back and forth.  This was just the primer, as they then went into Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. As the played through, the song morphed into Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child (slight Return), then AC/DC’s Back In Black, before bring it all back.  The final song of the evening was The Alabama State Troupers’ Going Down.  The evening ended with the crowd dancing and jamming in the aisles.  As the entire tour took a bow, the stage was left a big sweaty mess with Hammer-ons and Pull-offs, Whammy Dives, Arpeggios, Chromatic sweeps still ringing in my head as walked onto Broad street.

Article and Photos by Bob Linneman


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