July 23, 1998
Raunchy Texas blues and "space alien surf music" shared the stage Friday night at the House of Blues. In an unusual pairing of musical styles, Joe Satriani and Chris Duarte put on an excellent show to a sold out crowd. Satriani - looking like the alien of his hit "album" (why do we call them albums anymore?) "Surfing with An Alien", with his shaved head, bug eye sunglasses, black shirt and jeans, and chrome plated guitar - played a wide variety of music from "spacy" rock to blues.
From the "shredder" school of music, Satriani has always avoided the criticism other players of "shred guitar" receive, primarily because he stays away from the cliches of that guitar style. The musicality and originality of his music is always recognizable and stands out above other players.
On bass was Stu Hamm, well known and respected in own right, who got the crowd going with his bass solo about halfway into Satriani's set - playing a variety of songs and stretching out a crowd favorite "Orange Blossom Special" to the clapping and applause of the crowd.
Interestingly, part of Satriani's "rider" (his contract) requires that a guard stand in front of his mic stand during the whole show to prevent people from grabbing the stand and stealing his guitar picks. Seeing the actions of some people at the show, I can understand why. Several audience members started climbing up on the stage, keeping the HOB bouncers busy during most of the set.
Satriani's set lasted less than one hour and forty five minutes - including the two encores - which is just about the norm at the HOB lately.
Chris Duarte put on a great show, starting off with his declaration: "We're the Chris Duarte Group and we're here to play our ASSES of for you." From there, he ripped through his set to "Sunshine of your love", and proceeded to put on a high energy show - pleasing his fans and creating some new ones - that he finished dripping in sweat. At one point, he commented that "I must have some fans out there cause you know my songs....cool," in response to people shouting songs they wanted to hear. There were a lot of his fans present - evident from the fans shouting for "Cleo" and "32 Blues" from his last CD throughout his set (just short of one hour). I think he may be having his main guitar fixed as it was not on stage. He played the Hamilton until he broke a string and then went to his "newer" looking 63 strat. Chris can change a guitar pretty much as fast as anyone I have ever seen...without a roady standing by at his beck and call.
Bottom line: The sound was great, which is generally the norm at the HOB. Joe (Silver Surfer) Satriani rates a 10, and Chris Duarte rates a 10. My only complaint is that the shows at the HOB seem to be getting shorter. If you want a long show, go see Chris Duarte at some place like the Sapphire Club or some of the other clubs in the area. Duarte particularly will put out 3 to 3-1/2 hours a music on a typical night.
Murf is a registered professional engineer....(i.e. haircut and a real
job) who loves to play guitar. Vist Murf's home page. He lives with
(1) wife who
wishes he would grow up, (1) teenager who wonders how his parents got to
this point in their lives without his help, (2) dogs who sleep a lot,
(1) ferret who attacks when not looking and (1) cat who is basically
Other Articles I've Written