What do you get when you put Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi all on one stage? Enough jaw-dropping fusion metal guitar to make your head explode! This was one hell of a concert. Tosin kicked things off with his uniquely styled 8-string metal guitar technique. Nuno followed him up with a little bit of solo material (‘Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee’ was insane) and a few classic Extreme tunes. Zakk joined Nuno for a couple songs, and then went out into the audience for some ass-kicking behind the head guitar jamming. He covered ‘Whipping Post’ as his closer, then introduced one of my all-time favorite guitar heros: Yngwie Fucking Malmsteen. Yep, Yngwie was back in full force and lighting it up like no tomorrow.
It was at this point that the entire show went up like a hundred notches (imho). Yngwie’s playing was flawless, laying down line after line of neo-classical madness from classics like ‘Trilogy Suite’ and ‘Icarus Dream Suite’. Steve Vai appeared next, delving into some newer ‘String Theory’ material, as well as some old Vai favorites from various solo albums. He played several seven-string axes–my favorite was his awesome light bright glowing fret dots guitar. It was classic Steve Vai whammy insanity at its best, complete with his flurried tapping technique and tasty melodic minor jazz-metal riffs. Vai, Wylde, Bettencourt and Abasi all appeared on stage afterwards, killing it on their cover of ‘Frankenstein’. They invited the “Viking” back on stage for one last number–Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’–and I’m sure Richie Blackmore was smiling, wherever he was at. All in all, it was a night to remember, and one you’re not likely to see very often. Guitarists–if you have an opportunity to see this show, go see it!!