Review: Joe Satriani at Portsmouth Guildhall

Joe Satriani at Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Allan Jones, rockstarimages.co.uk
Joe Satriani at Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Allan Jones, rockstarimages.co.uk
David Cassidy pictured in 2008. Picture: PA

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Every rock fan loves a self-indulgent guitar solo, especially live, but is two hours of guitar virtuosity from instrumentalist Joe Satriani too much?

There are no such issues for rising South African guitarist Dan Patlansky.

Rightly tipped for 2016, this is an occasion when you are glad you arrived early for the support act. Comparisons to Hendrix aren’t far-fetched.

Satriani follows with a show full of the playing excess you might associate with Led Zeppelin, hell, he even has a rather startling drum solo as part of the set.

At this gig though he seems a long way from the flamboyant alter-ego allegedly adopted for his latest album Shockwave Supernova.

Satriani is at his best when the backing band keeps it simple and allows him to shine.

The postured dual-lead guitar shootout adopted on If I Could Fly turns into a muddy dirge. All Of My Life however, with its intimate blues tinged soloing is a standout performance, whilst the gentle interplay of Butterfly and Zebra provides some light amongst the aural assault of the majority of this set.

But as Satriani himself says, it’s not for him to worry about the critics, he just makes the music.