Since 2008’s Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock and his YouTube appearance alongside FunTwo, Joe Satriani has been keeping himself busy with touring. Not to be outdone by his numerous compilation releases, Satch himself has now brought his worldwide fans a letter from Paris, France in the form of a live DVD and double album — Live In Paris: I Just Wanna Rock. This is less a review and more an enlightening look at why Satriani has been and forever will be emblazoned upon rock music history; this is me saying that if you have any appreciation for technical prowess on electric guitar, or both elaborate and enveloping rock instrumentals, this DVD is for you.
The album does not fully capture a show like this, with camera and graphics work that is all over the place and setting the appropriate stage for Satch and his pals to jam. Kicked off with straight up heavy tracks “I Just Wanna Rock” and “Overdriver” from Professor, we get two signature classics — “Satch Boogie” (made all the more famous by Guitar Hero: World Tour) and the Vonnegut-inspired and sci-fi stroked “Ice 9”. To watch the musicians backing him is one thing in their ultimate cohesion, but Satriani is here to take center stage and play to the fans as always. Seeing his fingers work the frets on the bridge of “Satch Boogie” alone make for a fine show, but it far from over.
A good majority of Professor gets to shine here, as this was Satriani’s most recent catalog inclusion pre-Paris and he is certainly promoting the bejesus out of it via “Revelation”, “Musterion”, and “Diddle-Y-A-Doo-Dat” plus others; in proper fashion for a double album, we get a ton of well-known standards book-ending the whole show (“Surfing With The Alien”, “Always With Me, Always With You”, etc.) plus a six minute bass solo from Stuart Hamm (a must-hear highlight) and some crowd service talks from Satch to hype the audience.
This is not a G3 release or anything of that caliber, in fact it is pretty low key in comparison. On the other hand, everything that needed to happen here did — the comradeship atmosphere on stage between Satriani, Hamm and company was palpable to a “t”, and of course merely hearing this hypnotic music is only the tip of the iceberg as camera angles get some phenomenal close up shots plus on-screen graphics to enhance the experience, in some cases hearkening back to Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing” music video (only less obviously ’80s).
Live In Paris encompasses a stellar, career-spanning sampler and a fine helping of the better Professor selections all at once. Pay particular attention to “Satch Boogie”, “Time Machine”, and “Bass Solo” for true jam elements and some purely awesome playing. Entertaining for the casual fan, inspiring for the future virtuoso, and a fine addition for those who love concert DVDs in general, Live In Paris: I Just Wanna Rock is good on all counts.
Live In Paris: I Just Wanna Rock Tracklist:
01. I Just Wanna Rock
03. Satch Boogie
04. Ice 9
06. Flying In A Blue Dream
09. Super Colossal
10. One Big Rush
12. Out Of The Sunrise
13. Time Machine
14. Cool #9
16. Bass Solo
18. Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing
19. Always With Me, Always With Me
20. Surfing With The Alien
21. Crowd Chant
22. Summer Song