Critic's Pick

G3 featuring Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and John Petrucci

The thing is, Joe Satriani actually seems to get it. A few years back, on some TV documentary about the role of the electric guitar in the history of rock 'n' roll, the legendary Long Island lick-monster openly declared that technical skill had nothing to do with one's ability to rock. Seated in front of the camera with his ax, he smiled and played the Edge's primitive-yet-irresistible signature riff from U2's early hit "I Will Follow," and declared, "That's great!" Satriani's fretboard gymnastics have earned him gold and platinum albums; his teaching acumen has brought him the respect of those players (in the metal, prog, and electric-jazz scenes, mostly) for whom "good chops" are a big deal. Yet with all his talent, he'll never play a single note that can equal the ham-handed urgency of the Edge, the searing sloppiness of the late D. Boon of the Minutemen, or the elemental fury of the guys from Mogwai -- and he probably knows it.

 
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