G3 Puts On a Shredtacular Performance

Evan Moyer, Staff Reporter

It was February 23rd. 50 degrees, no rain, no snow. It was busy trying to get down there. Of course, traffic was crazy, but hey, it was a Friday night. When I arrived at the Chicago Theatre, there were at least fifteen people waiting for the doors to open at six, but more as time went by. I had already been to the theatre before to see Dream Theater, but on the balcony. I had almost front row seats, they were perfect. The show started exactly at 7pm. The guitarist who went first was Phil Collen and his other band, Delta Deep. The vocalist for his set, (which didn’t come back until the end of the show) where the three jammed along to classic songs. Some notable songs Collen and his band play were a cover of Deep Purple’s classic off the “Burn” Album, “Mistreated”, and an original of his band called “Down in the Delta.” After Collen’s set came Petrucci.

Petrucci’s set started out with epic music playing while a slideshow of astral pictures in the background. A reddish brown light appeared on Petrucci while he had his hands in the air. He played a good six songs: Glasgow Kiss, from his 2005 solo album “Suspended Animation”. “Glassy Eyed Zombies”, which had never been recorded in the studio, only played live along with “Damage Control”,”The Happy Song”, “Wrath of the Amazons”, and “Jaws of Life.” In between the songs Petrucci would talk to the audience about how much he loved Chicago, the pizza, basically the whole entire city. It took fifteen minutes to switch the set to Joe’s. In the meantime, I was excited to see one of my guitar idols play.

After the fifteen minutes, the place darkened, and then he appeared– the man with the shades and his silver Ibanez guitar. He played a great eight songs, some of them of his new album “What Happens Next?”, “Cherry Blossoms”, and “Thunder High on the Mountain”, and some of his older material his classics like “Always with Me, Always With You”, and “Circles” off the album “Surfing With The Alien”, and ending his set with “Summer Song”, off of “The Extremist.” After that set, I wasn’t the same person again. I witnessed one of the gods of guitar play in front of me, which was one of the greatest things I have seen and heard in my life, how is anything going to top that?

Now came time for the ultimate jam with all three guitarists. I was on the edge of my seat. I did watch some videos on Youtube of some past G3 2018 concerts to see what I was up for. Satch, Petrucci, and Collen played Deep Purple’s 1972 classic “Highway Star”, Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”, and “Going Down” by the Alabama State Troopers were the three improvised for a good seven minutes before going back and playing the riffs.

Overall it was one of the best nights of my life. Seeing Petrucci again, and most importantly seeing Satch for the first time was a delight. Collen, on the other hand, I could care less. It seemed like he wasn’t on the same level technically wise, but he still put on a good show. This has been one of the best concerts I’ve been to, not just the guitarwork, but the inclusion of a singer that changes things up a little bit, and also the choice of venue. It was not too big, not too small, the perfect place for them to perform. As Satriani said once, “guitars are fun.” There are plenty of different kinds to play. They look cool. They sound cool. Don’t *you* want to play the guitar?”