I never miss the G3 tour. I believe this was the fourth one and it stared as always Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and this time the third slot was filled by Yngwie Malmsteen. I was curious why Yngwie was on the bill because he has not really been heard from in awhile and his music is quite different from the other two guitarists. I would have thought Eric Johnson, Gary Hoey, Kenny Wayne Sheppard would have been a better fit.
I was never much of a fan of Yngwie so I decided to arrive at Humphrey’s just as the show started. Much to my surprise it actually started a few minutes early and I heard Yngwie’s Marshals blasting from the street! Also to my astonishment when I got into the concert area, the place was almost full… never have seen that during the first act at any concert I have been to. Once I sat down, I saw the aged speed guitarist from the 80’s who has gained a lot of weight and still thinks he is a “metal god”, but isn’t. He strutted around the stage with his long 80’s metal hair wearing tight black leather pants and an oversized silk (type) shirt that was open down to about his navel. Unfortunately, his shirt was not long enough to cover his bulging belly when he would lift up his arms.
Okay, besides how he was dressed and his hugely inflated ego, his playing was horrible. He was constantly making mistakes, stopping, seemingly paying different songs halfway though other songs. I could not really tell when one song ended and another started (except for a few times). I really felt sorry for his supporting band. The thing that really floored me that when he did not have a guitar part (when another band member would have a solo or lead), he would walk over to the side of the stage, take off his guitar and take drink of something from a large cup… generally not paying attention. I have never seen anyone do this before! Usually if someone is doing a solo or a lead, other band members, in this case Yngwie would play rhythm. He NEVER did.
He did this same thing during the “jam” session with Joe and Steve at the end of the show. This is the most unprofessional performance by a musician I have seen in concert. This of course ruined it for me and I would never see him again even if he did this tour again. The thing I found surprising was that his fans were super fanatic. He was so bad but they thought he was the greatest thing in the world… go figure.
Steve Vai was next and for the first time he came out along and did a few songs sitting down with just his guitar. The unfortunate thing was that his guitar was not being put though the house speakers, i.e. it was hard to hear him from just the stage monitors. When the rest of the band joined him around the third song, you could not hear Steve at all!!! I of course immediately became upset that nothing was being done about it. The rest of the crowd did not catch on until the end of the forth song. People starting standing up, turning around and shouting “turn it up” to the sound guy. Finally some time into the fifth song we finally got to hear Steve. The mix for the rest of Steve’s band was bad too, could not hear the other guitarist very well etc.
This was totally unacceptable to me. Was the sound guy stupid? Drunk? I would have never expected this at a G3 concert and never from Steve Vai’s sound guy. I really could not believe that we missed more than a third of Steve’s set (he usually never plays more than an hour). Between Yngwie’s awful performance and this, this was the first concert that I wanted my money back. If I knew how to do it, I would have.
Joe Satriani came on and played totally awesome (as usual) and his sound guy had him totally dialed in! The jam session at the end was kind of disappointing because it was ruined by the presence of Yngwie.