Live: G3 2018 brings Joe Satriani, Phil Collen and John Petrucci to Greensburg

Are you a true guitar aficionado, do you worship long drawn out guitar solos, then get a load of this. This year’s G3 guitar tour features guitar legend Phil Collen (Def Leppard), the guitar wizardry of John Petrucci (Dream Theater) and the one and only living legend Joe Satriani. A tour like this happens once in a lifetime, so if the tour comes to your town, for God’s sake…Go!

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen started the night of with a rousing set of Bluesy, Soulful, Rock ‘N’ Roll. It was completely different from what Phil does with Leppard and it was fantastic. The guitarist frequently found himself, head titled back and eyes closed as he channeled his inner guitar God.

He played “Bless These Blues,” “Burnt Sally” and “Down In The Delta” from Delta Deep, but I must say the real surprise was his female Delta Deep vocalist Debbi Blackwell-Cook. Her voice came from deep down in her soul and it made you wanna sing along. His version of “Mistreated” from Deep Purple was by far his best song of the night.

Next up on the docket for that night was John Petrucci from Dream Theater, but what he played was as far from Dream Theater as it could possibly be. No this was deep, guttural and primal almost. It’s frenetic pace was disturbing in a strange sort of way. He played like an absolute madman right from his starter of “Wonder Woman’s Main Theme.”

He rocked hard core on “Jaws Of Life,” “The Happy Song” (Which is anything but, that) and “Damage Control.” “Glassy-Eyed Zombies” and “Glasgow Kiss” featured some of the most vicious and vile solos I think I’ve ever heard in my life…and I liked it. His demeanor was quite comical when he addressed the crowd, but then was back to business.

At last it was time for a true guitar God, Mr. Joe Satriani. He would live up to that title and then some. His set was peppered with both new like “Energy,” “Cherry Blossoms” and “Headrush” and old such as “Satch Boogie,” “Always With me, Always With You” and closer “Summer Song.” His playing seemed absolutely effortless and his guitar seemed to hover in front of his body as he manipulated it.

At many times his stellar lead guitar work seemed almost like a vocal line as he manipulated it. It had ebbs and flows almost as if his guitar did the speaking for him. Then almost out of nowhere came those unmistakable leads. They breathed life into the songs, giving them an even further depth and mystique. As his set drew to a close it was time for the all mighty G3 jam.

They started with “Highway Star” by Deep Purple. It was super extended so all the guitarist could have a solo to strut their stuff, but once again it was the stunning vocals by Debbi Blackwell-Cook that stole the show. They continued on through Stevie Wonders “Superstitious,” which contained some of the best solos of the evening, before ending the night with a rendition of “Going Down” by Alabama State Troopers that blew everyone’s mind.

-Eric Hunker