Joe Satriani comes to The Chicago Theatre on his Earth Tour to support his latest release, The Elephants of Mars. Early on in his first set, he plays two tracks from the album, “Sahara” and “The Elephants of Mars”. It is immediately clear he is still writing great music and his playing is still fantastic.
The solos on “Flying in a Blue Dream” are face melting. Behind the band on 3 screens, there are visuals of flying across beautiful landscapes. Another song features a spaceship flying through an asteroid field which matches the otherworldly guitar playing.
For one song, he says he pictured Nicholas Cage on fire on a motorcycle escaping the devil (like his character in Ghost Rider). He has to keep playing rapid notes so that he can survive.
To open the second set, the drummer, Kenny Aronoff, plays an extensive solo. It’s very impressive and is met with a great applause at its conclusion.
After jamming on “Shapeshifting”, Satriani says, “Woah, I don’t know where I went on that one. I need to calm down for the next song, which is a serious one called “Teardrops”.
He was right. This one was serious as it explored some dark and sad emotions.
There are more shredding electric solos on “If I Could Fly”. No lyrics are required. Like classical music, the emotion is in the notes.
See the full setlist from the St. Louis show here, which was very similar.
Cost of a ticket: $114 (Main Floor Middle)
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother
P.S. Satriani gave lessons to Steve Vai, who will be playing in Chicago next month.