Summer is here. And that means that the annual tours are making their way across the country fast and furious. The problem is that with all the tours out there, who has the money or the means to even try to make them all? For that matter, what are fans to do when their favorite band and/or artist doesn’t make a stop in their city? This is where the importance of live recordings comes in to play. Anyone out there who is like this reviewer has seen their favorite act(s) shun their city in favor of other markets time and again. So live recordings become that much more important to being able to experience given acts live. And one of the best of this year’s live recordings is Joe Satriani’s recently released live blu-ray “Satchurated: Live in Montreal.”
“Satchurated: Live in Montreal” is not Joe Satriani’s first live recording. But it is one of his best yet, if not his best yet. This live show is as close as fans will come to a career retrospective from Satriani. The show clocks in at just under two and a half hours long. And it lifts from nearly every one of the fourteen albums that this guitar legend has released in the twenty plus years that he has been making music. That includes more than half of the songs from his most recent album, “Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards.” The whole show kicks off with the hit, ‘Ice 9’ from his album, “Surfing With The Alien.” All the hits are there, including: ‘Satch Boogie’, ‘Summer Song’, ‘Crowd Chant’, ‘The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing’ and so many more.
The mega set list on this performance is just one part of the whole that makes “Satchurated: Live in Montreal” the standout live recording that it is. The songs are great. And thanks to Mike Fraser (Aerosmith, AC/DC, Sliipknot, etc.) and everyone behind the scenes of the show, the finished product came out just as impressive as the set list itself. The audio mix is spot on even for those who might not have a surround sound home theater system. Though as impressive as the audio mix was, it’s enough to make a person want to buy a home theater system if only for the one show. It should come as no surprise that the final mix was so impressive. This show wasn’t the first time that Satriani and Fraser have worked together. They also teamed up for Satriani’s albums, “Crystal Planet” and “Super Colossal.”
The finished video presentation was just as impressive as the audio mix. Even those who don’t have a 3-D TV get stunning clarity with the concert’s blu-ray presentation. On top of that, the general shooting, helmed by the brothers Lamoureux–Pierre and Francois–will make audiences feel as if they’re right there in Montreal with the rest of the audience. The brothers took the emotion of every one of Satch’s songs, and somehow adapted that energy to the filming, giving shots at just the right pacing to keep audiences hooked. Combine the filming with the show’s setlist, and audiences will be pulled right into the show. they won’t even realize that nearly two and a half hours have passed until the show is over. That is the sign of a truly impressive live recording.
Joe Satriani has been making music for over two decades. He has released fourteen albums, and earned numerous honors as a result of those albums. Now, he can add one more honor to that already long list with the release of “Satchurated: Live in Montreal.” That honor is of having one of the top live recordings of 2012. From the superior audio mix and video presentation to the career spanning set list, Joe Satriani has never looked or sounded better.
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