G3: Greatest Gods of Guitar – Satriani, Petrucci, and Collen

Greetings once again from your favorite source of concert photography, Photos from the Pit! This latest show is brought to you by the letter G, and the number 3. G3 could also stand for 3 Guitar Greats Joining Forces for a Concert Experience Intended to Melt Your Face off with a Night Full of Full Force Shredding.

Our aural experience took place at one of my favorite venues in Kansas City, the historic Uptown Theater. Shout out to the bar staff up-front for always being so cool. Additional shout out to my wife Taylor, and Salon Beyond, for making Josh’s hair look awesome.

G3 as a musical experience has been rockin since 1995, organized by Joe Satriani. Joining Joe this evening was John Petrucci (of Dream Theater), and Phil Collen (of Def Leppard)

Phil Collen, of Def Leppard fame, was joined with his band Delta Deep. Phil has been active in many aspects of the rock work since 1974, and in 2010 formed Delta Deep –  a bluesy project featuring bassist Robert Deleo of Stone Temple Pilots, drummer Forrest Robinson, and the absolutely riveting vocal talent of Debbi Blackwell-Cook.

Phil opened his set with little introduction. As some of the greats say, “Less talk, more rock”, and Phil attached himself to this mantra, opening the set with “Quadrant 4,” and “Yo 2 Joe”. After rocking through two instrumental tracks, Phil was joined on-stage by Debbi Blackwell-Cook and the set took a much blues-ier feel to it.  All performers on stage kept the energy high and the music loud, but also kept a genuine blues feel to the set. The six-song set closed with “Down in the Delta”. I’m not a huge Def Leppard fan, so I don’t know exactly what I was expecting out of the first set, but after the last song played, I was blown away by the rock-blues fusion.

Next up was John Petrucci, the founding member of prog-metal band Dream Theater. Joined on stage was Dream Theater’s Mike Magini on drums and Dave LaRue on bass.

Petrucci jumped right into the set much like Collen did earlier – 2 savage songs played with zero talk or introductions (“Wrath of the Amazons” and “Jaws of Life”) before addressing the crowd and thanking the other guitarists on tour. Things took a happier turn with “The Happy Song”, and then Petrucci’s signature other-worldly playing style took center stage again. I’ve seen plenty of super-talented guitarists on stage in my day, but Petrucci’s intricate soloing is something else to be seen.

The man who brought the whole show together was our headlining act of the night – Joe Satriani. Joe has become a staple in the guitar world, and has even instructed other great guitarists, such as Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett. Joining Satriani on stage was Bryan Beller on bass, Joe Travers on drums, and Mike Kenneally on guitar and keyboards.

Satriani brought out his signature chrome guitar and rocked through a 12-song set, playing classics like “Catbot”, “Satch Boogie” and “Super Funky Badass”

Closing out the evening, Satriani brought John Petrucci and Phil Collen back on stage along with Debbi Blackwell-Cook. They played three song finale; including Deep Purple’s “Highway Star, Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”.

G3 2018 continues it’s North American tour through February 25th. The show then heads to Europe in Marhc, with Uli Jon Roth, original guitarist of Scorpions, replacing Phil Collen.


Photos by Josh Chaikin
Words by Dallas Hessel

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