Page 2 - Uli and Satch

Based on UK leg of tour including: May 16th Manchester Apollo, May 17th Birmingham NEC, May 19th Wembly Arena, May 20th Croydon Fairfield Halls, May 21st Cardiff International Arena.

All photos on this page (c) 1998 Dave Wood.

Not often that a band gets two support bands, with one playing before, and the other after! But this is what happened with MSG!


It was Uli's job to get the ball rolling every night, and it's got to be said that he did a great job every time! By the end of his set the venues were filled up with bums on seats, and rapturous applause. As Uli himself often said, this is the first live tour he's done for 14 years, but you wouldn't know it. I never really appreciated just how good this guy is until I saw the shows and marvelled at his 'look, this is so easy!' style! Highlights must include his rendition of 'Vivaldi's Four Seasons' every night which really did send shivers down the spine. In addition, at the Birmingham gig he was joined on-stage by a superb violinist for this piece which was outstanding. It was a shame that this was a one-off occurrence. For vocals Uli used the talents of Liz Vandall, who has the most amazing voice I think I have ever heard live... certainly puts Klaus to shame on the classic 'Sails of Charon', and makes the out-of-date sentiments (or maybe not so out of date given recent events in Asia) of 'Hiroshima' come alive. With the able talents of, who is to keyboards what Cozy Powell was to drums, Don Airey, I think that Uli made a lot of new fans over these nights. The final UK date, and the last for a few days for Uli, was a local gig for him since he now lives in Wales, and he again finshed as he had started with a great show. Uli, please don't let another 14 years pass before you grace our stages again!

The Uli the crowds didn't see....


Not a good picture, sorry! But then I didn't go to the gigs to see him........ I must first off admit to not being very familiar with any of Satches albums after 'Surfing with the Alien' (from which there were several songs in the set) which was a favourite of mine back in the late 80's during my final school exams. This, compounded by the fact that for me I'd rather be listening to his music while either driving in a car, or sitting at home in a comfy chair with no distractions, made listening to him play in a concert environment a little testing. This does not however detract from the fact that he is an amazing guitarist, and very often would pull out some amazing 'how does he do that' licks. He was also helped by a much more superior lighting show than the other two artists, which was a bit of a shame but I guess it was his show after all. 'Satches Boogie' and 'Surfing' were the highlights for me from Satriani, but every night the guy who got the loudest applause, bar none, was his bass player, Stu Hamm, who did things with a bass that I never realised were physically possible. Every night he did an amazing bass solo that had to be seen to be believed, and every night the crowd were ecstatic!

At most shows, there also didn't seem to be as much interaction between the crowd and Satriani, unlike at Croydon where the lack of a 'pit' at the front meant that the stage front was right up against the crowd. Satch looked a lot happier in this situation, and looked to be having a lot more fun than at the larger arena type venues - I guess it's a situation that someone that big cannot allow himself that often. Overall, a great guitarist, a great show, but sorry, not really my thing!


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