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| "Wow, Amazing, Phenomenal," just a few of the words to describe the show that Generation Axe put on
Monday at Taft Theatre in Cincinnati. Starting with the basics, we have five of the greatest guitarists that
ever stepped on a stage: Steve Vai, Nuno Bettencourt, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen and Tosin Abasi.
The show started out with all five of them on stage, accompanied by a bassist, keyboard player and
drummer. They then proceeded to make musical history! They started out playing "Foreplay/Long Time"
by Boston, can you believe it, and it sounded amazing. Generation Axe then traded some sweet licks and
shredding and shortly after that everyone left the stage, leaving Tosin by himself.
Tosin, from his band Animals as Leaders, started belting out some killer back-beating, hard hitting in your
face metal that I thought was gonna make my heart explode! Once he went into the sweeping arpeggio's
and the blazing finger tapping, I was in awe... and of course the whole time he was using an eight stringed
axe, nonetheless. I mean really, why use only six strings when you can have eight? Nuno accompanied
him on stage for one song. When the song was over, Tosin left Nuno to remain in the spotlight.
Nuno, Extreme's lead guitarist, DID NOT DISAPPOINT let me tell ya! I've been waiting my whole life to see
him play and it was better than I imagined. He did a couple songs from Extreme, one being "Get the Funk
Out." That song includes one of my most favorite solos of all time. He did a couple of songs outside of
Extreme's playlist, one being an acoustic "Midnight Express" that I can promise you will be the very next
song I download. Nuno, please don't ever quit playing!
Next up to jam was the one, the only: Zakk Wylde. After stepping up with Nuno on his last song, Zakk
dove right into some Black Sabbath and Allman Brothers Band tunes and absolutely CRUSHED it!
He literally made that place his stomping ground. Oh and what a surprise, he walked off stage, right up
the two main aisles (one at a time) and stood right there among the people, in our faces and jammed,
slammed, grinded and simply chopped with that fabulous Flying V of his right in front of our very ears;
what a treat for the fans.
And now enters the king of Neo-Classical, make yours ears bleed, your eyes bleed, your brain bleed,
and honestly just makes my fingers hurt watching him: Yngwie Malmsteen. Yngwie 'who' you ask?
Yngwie f*****g Malmsteen, that's who! Do you wanna hear Beethoven and Bach play together with
distortion? Just listen to Yngwie. Yes he's that good, and yes he's that fast, and yes he's that precise.
I just don't see how his guitar puts up with that, I really don't. He performed "Spellbound," "Valhalla,"
"Far Beyond" and more. He also played "Black Star" and he performed it with Steve Vai. Which brings us
to the last, but not the least, STEVE VAI!
I'm going to try to put this to you the best I can... some say he's the best, the greatest, or my favorite title
for him, the most versatile... I'll agree with all of that. What I mean is, sure he's fast, but that's not what is
most important sometimes; he's precise, he's technical, he's enduring. He can take a song and play it in
any key you want, anytime you want, to me that's great. He makes chords I've never even seen. Wait a
minute, what was that chord again, Steve? Sounds that he invents, yeah that's correct I said invents, and
it's like, 'how does he do that?' I once looked at a tab book of his and looked at is all I did. I'll keep trying...
Not to mention him bringing all these great guitar players together for us with the Generation Axe Tour,
man, thanks dude! Steve did some killers including: "Tender Surrender," "Building the Church" and
"Frankenstein" to name a few. He ended up playing "Highway Star" with Yngwie on vocals and it was
wicked! Vai turned my brain to mush, again not with just speed but with sheer, natural born talent that
doesn't come often.
These unbelievable five guitarists were accompanied by one of the biggest, strongest backbones I've ever
witnessed. They had Pete Griffin (who's played with the likes of Dweezil Zappa), Nick Marinovich from
Malmsteen's band, and Matt Garstka from Animals as Leaders. You have to consider, they had to play
with and support five completely different guitar styles and personalities, and they never missed a beat
or a note. I sure as heck couldn't do that! I was most impressed. It goes without saying, this entire
'supergroup' performed together in perfect harmony like no other, I will most certainly see them again if
at all possible before this tour is over.
Generation Axe Tour Photos
The Generation Axe Tour continues through early May. See Dates Here.
Generation Axe Tour : Taft Theatre : Cincinnati, Ohio : April 25, 2016
Guest Review By TOMMY EGLOFF (Guitar Player and Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Enthusiast) | Photography By MIKE HOWARD
|Out Of The Blue
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