I have done things in my life that I should, in retrospect, never have done. Things like that are only revealed to you with the benefit of hindsight, which, like the esteemed Mr. Mustaine rightly assessed in "Sweating Bullets", is always 20-20. I made such a proverbially stupid move in 1994, when I left my then girlfriend for my now ex-wife. I should have fought, I should have given us another chance. Why, I hear you screaming in near-death throes of agony, do I have to hurl all this verbal diarrhoea over you? Because my then girlfriend really liked Joe Satriani. Which just goes to show you to which lengths the sadly dumped will go to tell humanity of their worldly woes.

Enough of that! Ka-Chow! [Sound of whip cracking] Ow! OK, I shall keep a tighter rein on my so-called human interest ramblings.

Satriani. The DVD. Right.

In June I got the double CD version of this effort, which was an impressive if a bit hefty listening experience. I recently bought the DVD, and I am afraid I can't really find words much different from the ones I used before. The track listing is the same, the sound quality is the same. For those with the benefit of a Dolby 5.1 set-up there's a 5.1 audio track that sounds very natural and full. The DVD has a few bonus things, including separate multi-angle versions of three songs and a short backstage documentary (rockumentary, if you will). I mean, there's plenty of space for all this to fit on, because it's in fact a double DVD. The multi-angle songs don't really add that much, because it's basically four camera angles you can choose, and all of the cameras at some times don't really offer interesting footage (camera person walking, repositioning, etc.).

Joe Satriani is a most impressive guitar player, and thankfully there are plenty of close-ups where you can see exactly what is going on guitar-wise. But he's not the visually interesting entertainer that, for example, Steve Vai is. So, no matter how good the sound quality is and how much it catches the vibe of a Satriani concert, this is just not going to be a DVD that you'll watch often. The fact that it clocks in at about 2 and a half hours makes it even more unlikely that I, for one, will ever watch it again in full.

It's impeccably produced, the musicians are great, in fact that is nothing really negative I can say about any musical or technical aspect. But I really hope Epic will decide to make a Steve Vai live DVD soon.

Click here to check out or buy this DVD



Written November 2001


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