Review G3 DVD Live in Tokyo

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#91 Post by Mr. Canadian » Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:17 pm

Got the dvd earlier this wk...immediately noticed the production on this one is leagues beyond the 2 previous g3 dvds, great picture quality and sound....and the jams were more enjoyable this time also, which was a surprise, as i usually really dislike them and find it tedious to sit-thru the lick and trick trade-offs etc, i still think they're better in the individual sets though and the jams are like an anti-climax to the whole thing, they should pick better repertoire, something more engaging/different....felt that bissonette really nailed the vocal on smoke on the water too...out of the individual sets, i enjoyed vai's the most (big surprise there, eh folks) ....but petrucci was no slouch as his set was pretty cool also, and i have to admit i was pretty disappointed with satch's set and performance, a shame really ...poor song selection, somewhat tedious/dull, this was the weakest area of the movie in my opinion...other than that the whole dvd is well done.

...and the bonus sound check was a cool/worthy addition as well. noticed that the vai commentary track is there also, but haven't had time to listen to it yet.

4 stars out of 5.

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#92 Post by Arauka » Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:23 pm

Sorry if this was answered earlier (I've read much of the preceding commentary, but not all) but why WAS the release so delayed and low-key in Canada? I want these guys to tour here but with the poor showing of our record stores, that doesn't look too likely :(

On a happier note, when I finally found a copy of the DVD (while the CD still took another couple of days), I went back to work and watched the Vai set first. Then I took it home and watched the whole thing with my son and watched his jaw drop early on and stay on the floor throughout ...

This is the best G3, IMHO, though many of the preceding comments will have me going back to rewatch the others. For me, this is simply the best line-up. I still know next to nothing about Eric Johnson and Yngwie is fine but not my favourite. Steve Vai is! with Joe a respectable second and Petrucci catching up (and to this elite list, allow me to add a Canadian artist, Dave Martone, who everyone should check out, especially on his "A Demon's Dream" CD). Until this release, my favourite G3 moments had been Steve's set and "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama" from the '96 show, and Satch's amazing set (song choice for me, anyway) from Denver. I knew going into this one, though, that I was going to love it all and I wasn't disappointed.

Petrucci is technically brilliant and I loved his two songs and would liked to have heard more, but it's true he's not the showman that Vai is and the differences were so apparent having Vai's set immediately after JP.

I first heard The Audience is Listening in '90 with P&W's release and it's always been my favourite. After 15 years, I don't find it surprising that Vai didn't play it note for note off the album - songs can evolve and change and that's up to the artist, methinks and it's still an amazing thing to hear AND see! I loved it and Building the Church and K'm-Pee-Du-Wee (both Vai-ing for my favourite song on RI) were just as brilliant. The whole set blew everything away.

As such, I wasn't expecting there was much Satch could do to compete especially as I wasn't as familiar with his song choices, but he was great too.

And then the jams! Hey, who am I to judge technique? All I know is, they played three great, classic rock songs which I love and made them all better than ever. Joe's vocal range, as he admits, isn't what Foxey Lady might deserve but amongst all the other great moments, this show simply rules. And it's got me thinking of other songs I'd like to hear in future G3 jams (is there a thread for that?). After all, a Hendrix tune is pretty standard and Vai's vocal on Fire (Live at Astoria) was excellent. I'm sure they'll come up with some great stuff in the future, but right now and I'm gonna rewatch this and savour it.



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#93 Post by jemgirl » Sat Nov 05, 2005 5:41 am

my copy arrived this morning :P
i`m gonna be short on commentary.
and its a killer to watch!!!!!!!!
aspecialy the soundcheck,man thats great fun to watch.

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#94 Post by Jemfever » Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:30 am

Got my DVD on thursday and watched it three times now.I wanted to wait a bit with my review as sometimes ones opinion changes after hearing/seing something a couple of times.
I love this DVD.The sound is perfect,the songs are perfect and the bonus features are great.
JP: what a great guitarist! :shock: I've never been a fan of Dream Theater but JP's solo album is great.I mean he's got it all :speed,feel,great melodies and a million different ways to express himself on the guitar.
By the way,i read many reviews where people stated that JP's stage appearance was pretty boring.OK i agree but:is he supposed to be a guitarist or an entertainer or maybe a clown!!!???
Steve was good as always.Somehow this time i felt that his tone was not that good.
Satch was also good.

The songs chosen for the jam were pretty much classic rock/blues territory, what made me think that JP would probably not quite fit into.
Man was i wrong!!To me he stepped out of Joe's and Steve's shadows and did an amazing job.
Steve's contributions to the jam were not my cup of tea.Don't get me wrong but trying to produce weird sounds with ones vibrato arm just for the sake of being unique doesn't quite sound good in the classic rock context.
Then there was Joe who played a solid jam with some interesting ideas.

Nevertheless a good DVD thats definately worth buying!

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#95 Post by sword » Sat Nov 05, 2005 9:44 pm

Kas_satriani wrote:hey does anyone have any idea why both joe's site and vai's don'ty have preiviews for this dvd they had prievwies for the last one.
I only ask this cause i live in AUS and i can'tr get the dvd yet.
He does now! :D


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#96 Post by resha » Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:54 am

got mine only yesterday (it has arrived on friday :evil: )

I really really liked the production; amazing place for a concert, as only Japan can offer (hey I noticed they all have seats there! in Italy that couldn't be possible for a rock concert :roll: GREAT!)
really liked the photograpy, though some images are not so clear, but it's only some little passages of short seconds :?
incredible sound, john petrucci's one destroyed my walls :headbang
great song choice, a good balance between shred and soul :!:
images are really great, I love them more than the other G3s...
the bonus features are amazing... commentary's a great idea that is always welcome and let the viewer have a different point of view!and have some laughs too :wink: the choice of having different subtitles languages is great for the ones that cannot understand English so well, they can feel the vibe of the soundcheck too!

JP: hey what kind of color is his guitar :shock: that's awesome I WANT IT 8). Incredible professionality, plug the instruments in and rock ass! Amazing sound/tone control (how many time He switched His pick ups :shock: Steve Morse's school :wink: ) great energy and cool compositions (Damage Control open riff is just, well :twisted: )

SV: unhuman stage presence... I still cannot believe it! His concerts are amazing, but they only last some hours! ...with the dvd I can watch Him play as long as I want :P
imho it has been incredible to see in a dvd -another time- what Steve can do with a guitar on stage... seeing His live concerts left the emotions and I lost some aspects about His actual playing! It's great to rembember the gig in Milan about a month ago by seeing the dvd (I'm looking forward for the RI:R dvd YEAH!!!)

It's something like putting all the incredible flow of emotions of a live gig in dvd! "Ready made live emotions", just put the dvd on and press play, an incredible trip will take you to the deepest aspects of your life!

His power during "The Audience Is Listening" is... no words :?
and the way He moves... again!

JS: great songs, bluesy vibe made my heart beat more intense than the normal! His melodies are the best I've ever listened to :shock:
imho He's a really mature musician, His style is rock-solid, awesome :wink: from the images emerges an amazing compactness of the band, everything is at its place. Jeff's and Matt's playing really fit Joe's compositions... cool!

JAM: well the songs are the best thing to improvise a lot and have cool sound exchangin ideas between the Gs! Foxey Lady rocks! The way Joe sings is great! La Grange and Smoke on the water are really power pieces, the interpretation of the band is perfect and Billy's and Matt's voices add that kind of "the special ingredient" flavor!
I was impressed by a move from John: during the last improvisation (I don't remember if it's from La Grange or from Smoke on the water) Steve does some alien harmonics (kinda Joe's left hand whammy bar technique) and John puts out His head towrds Steve's guitar to look how He does that trick with a big smile on His face! INCREDIBLE 8)

The best g3 :P

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#97 Post by bigsyl » Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:55 pm

Good DVD. A bit short tough. It would have been even better with the full set from the show.

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#98 Post by Proview » Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:23 am

resha wrote:JP: hey what kind of color is his guitar :shock: that's awesome I WANT IT 8)
That's called Mystic Dream.

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#99 Post by stratocastermaster » Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:11 am

i think that this is the best G3 yet... i am very happy with petrucci... i think that he is a much better choice than yngwie (he who plays hte same song)... that being said im going to see yngwie soon...anyway... john added somthing very great to the show... steve,,,, this is the best setlist steve has played on a G3... k'm-pee-do-we is probably my favorite song off RI so i was thrilled with that... i am also happy as i was at the cconcert that he played TAIL...thats such a good song... i wasnt quite as thrilled with joes setlist as i have been in the past but it was still amazing... and the jams... wow... i was not expecting zz top and deep purple... that show had such energy... pver all... love it

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#100 Post by resha » Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:58 am

Proview wrote:
resha wrote:JP: hey what kind of color is his guitar :shock: that's awesome I WANT IT 8)
That's called Mystic Dream.
hey thanks Proview! It's one of the best colors I've ever seen in a guitar 8)

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G3 '05 DVD review

#101 Post by Samuele » Sat Nov 12, 2005 4:19 am

In my hometown the new G3 DVD peeped out in record stores on friday 11/04, so I got it that day and watched it a few times before writing this post.
Yes, I really have to tell you that this latest video capture of the G3 tour really seems the best one to me: every new release seems to be better than the previous one. One thing that kind of surprised me is the new language selection menus, which I think must have taken some time to make - especially the subtitles' translations. Hat off to everyone involved in this project: one can really see you spent some time on it. The only thing that I couldn't do (but maybe it's just my DVD player) is shut off the subtitles while playing the soundcheck feature. I have to tell you I usually prefer listening to the original audio without any translation (being a not-yet-professional translator myself), so in this case I put the English subtitles instead of the Italian ones (which I think are not always up to the level the disc deserves - let's face it, there are a few minor mistakes in the translation). The menu visual backgrounds are pretty cool, and they kind of bring you there in Japan, like you were a tourist walking by the streets. Nice atmosphere.

The show
One first thing to be noticed is how the performances order respects that of the actual show, which is a first. A second thing is that the camera directing/angles choice/ect. seems to give you the impression of being there. I mean, people made full use of the seven cameras, which were almost always moving, sweeping through the concert hall. Maybe there were not so much close-ups on the guitars as last year's disc, but I think there were enough to please most people. Probably the majority of those impossible phrases and passages on the guitars were captured. Probably the best directing so far for G3.

John Petrucci - I've been following John and Dream Theater for years, and I enjoy his playing a lot. It's aggressive yet smooth, polished fast little notes, great tone and command of the instrument. John is also somewhat "classy" in his appearance, sometimes even quite calm and relaxed - hey, have you ever tried to play his tunes while dancing and jumping on stage? :) Ah yes, and he was backed by Mike Portnoy and Dave LaRue - btw, were there any drum or bass players on this tour… who were not monster players? Although I'd have liked to see a video performance of Lost Without You too, I think the songs choice is great. Glasgow Kiss (I know it means head butt :) ) is kind of playful and has a very nice melody, while Damage Control starts more heavy but I find it more well-rounded and probably like it a little more than the other, because I feel it has more atmosphere changes. Glasgow Kiss is maybe tighter and more cohesive, and I like the way it starts better, but Damage Control has certain parts which I enjoy even more.

Steve Vai - How am I going to appropriately tell you how grateful I am to Steve for doing what he does? I think the songs choice is perfect, especially for G3, which is all about the guitar and some of the most beautiful music ever. I sometimes have the feeling that describing the performances of those songs as impressive is an understatement. It's way too unbelievably stunning :) . How can five guys play so much good stuff in such little time? Well, if those people are Steve, Billy, Tony, Dave and Jeremy… they really can. My favorite band. If I were to tell you which song from those three I prefer, I would be at a loss. People have noticed Steve's "brutalization" of his CryBaby during The Audience is Listening: when I saw the show in Milan I wondered if Steve has put springs under the treadle in order to hit the pedal that way. The Audience is Listening seems a perfect song to also let the band show off, especially Steve and Billy when soloing in turn and then together (you know what I mean :) ). The perfect blend of wildness, crazyness and yet constancy, accuracy and intensity. I simply love the solo, also the unison parts with Tony - if you hadn't witnessed it before, you wouldn't think it possible. Building the Church on the other hand envelops you in another world, if one can say that. I love how the intro riff stops and the melody kicks in, but I simply crave for the harmony hammers section after the solo (which is indescribably cool as well). This song is probably the most colourful among the three, with all those astonishing aural changes. The beauty of K'm-pee-du-wee too is astounding in its own right. Intimacy, warmth, closeness, love are some of the words which this song conjures up in my mind. Hey, it's a lullaby, right? The little introduction with Steve and Billy makes me think of standing in the open air, maybe with the sound of the wind among the leaves of the trees. Guitar-wise (so to speak) this is probably my favorite one among the three. Only someone who deeply loves and is dedicated to the guitar could write this truly moving, exceptional piece of music. Thank you Steve, you always are my favorite.

Joe Satriani - I feel I must thank Joe as well for everything he did in order to let this disc go into the world. The sound is just as good as last year's disc, at times even better. To me, the songs are some of Joe's very finest. They seem to come from Joe's rocking side, but always with some introspection (e.g. right from the intro to Up in Flames). My favorite is Searching, because there's so much in there, it's so various and kind of intimate, and the solo and the whammy parts are unbelievable. That song, along with Is There Love in Space? and Gnaahh are probably my favorite ones from Joe's latest record. I saw him play those songs last year and he's always flawless in his performances. I also see why he wanted to include War in the disc, I too like it very much. One thing that surprised me is Joe talking in Japanese :o . I didn't expect him to talk so much, but I have no knowledge of the Japanese language, so can't really say anything. Anyway, surprise surprise.

The Jam - It's great to watch in disbelief how good some of the songs you've heard so many times may turn out, sounding fresh and captivating. I mean, Foxey Lady is probably one of the songs classic rock radios play the most - and yet the performance captured onto this disc really stands out. It also demonstrates something I always thought. You see, I know some people who say that John has a better feel than Joe or Steve just because he picks as fast as heck so often. I personally think it's just a choice of style. Anyway, now people have the opportunity to see Steve and Joe flail like never before, also in synch with John. It's so exciting to watch such a tight performance take place. Also, something that others have noticed is that during the trade-offs after the individual solos in each song, the guys exchange improvised phrasings and develop them as they "pass" them to each other. That's one of the greatest things I've seen in a jam. And yes, it's nice to see John dashing in surprise to look at what Steve's doing with the whammy bar. This time it seems that Joe wanted to invite as many people as possible on stage, so it's cool to see Mike Portnoy too on the first song. Of course, you can't have two drummers on stage, but you surely can have two exceptional bass players - Matt and Billy (always my favorite). They are great singers as well, so we get Billy's sensual baritone register for LaGrange (as it was in the G3 2001 US tour), and his higher register for the backing vocals to Smoke on the Water. Of course, knowing that the guys are going to do that song creates certain expectations (even some girls when I was in school knew that song). So, I can understand why one would feel a little uncertain about performing it. What can one do to make that song sound unique? Well, Joe, Steve and John really managed to stay true to their individual uniquenesses, play a great song, and do the most unbelievable jam I ever saw on a TV screen. When it came time to do the trade-offs each guy was TALKING to the others. There never was such a tight guitar exchange, I only saw a brief similar moment between Steve and Joe last year here in Italy. And to me, the most stunning phrase of the jam seems to be Steve's second round one. I wonder if I'll ever be able to figure out how to play that.
In general, I would say that the G3 jam has the special quality of bringing new life to good old classic songs, while furthering the art of guitar playing, at times even to heights never touched before.

The Bonus Feature: soundcheck
Now, this is a true gem :) . I'm so happy it was decided to add this one to the disc. You can clearly see (as Steve would probably put it) the camaraderie, the bond between the musicians, and then of course the humor. And you know, I just love listening to the guys talking over the soundcheck footage. Joe is very informative, he lets us know about a lot of interesting things which were going on during the japanese G3 days. Steve on the other hand gives us his thoughts about G3 from the very beginnings to now, plus some more things. Yes, the last few scenes are simply hysterical :lol: ; I wonder if Steve still has that chicken :) . Steve, if you're reading this, I want to thank you for the hearty laughs too - after all, something you really need in life is a good job and a sense of humor, so thank you for that. John too sounds like he's about to break into laughter towards the end of his commentary. It's nice to see how each one did an overall different commentary of the bonus footage (maybe with the exception of the calluses section :) ).

I haven't heard the full CD version of the show yet, but I noticed that there are a few little additions as far as audio goes, like during Steve's band introductions. I think I'll get a copy of the CDs as soon as I can, because… yes, I'm one of those :) , and also you can't watch DVDs while driving a car, right?
In closing, I would suggest you get yourself a copy of the new G3 DVD, if you can. It's worth every cent, especially if you have an unconditional, wholehearted love for the guitar and for beautiful music - because even in G3 music comes first (the guitar being the means of expression).

P.S.: Sorry I always write so much, but I just could go on forever :).

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#102 Post by Vaism » Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:55 am

well i will say this: steve has a truly unique style. i think he is the kinda player thats either going to play something really great or play something that fails. hes going to take a few losses sometimes but you generally count on him to play something thats going to blow you away. its not conventional thats for damn sure (like JPs style which i love by the way) but if someone said "steve i want you to play things that you know will please everyone" vai would never be the player he is today and the player hes been all along.

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#103 Post by Mattw » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:12 pm

Apologies if this is the wrong thread for this. I ordered the DVD as soon as I found a UK based online store but unfortunately it keeps getting put back. It is now showing 24/11/05 as the release day - oh well.

I want to get the CD as well but it is very expensive. Usually it shows as an import. One major store shows it as £24.99 (about $44)! CAn anyone confirm if there is an official UK release planned?

If I have to look at the import then fortunately there are a few smaller companies with a better prices, however I heard the American release has some sort of DRM? I am really torn about this as I always buy CDs because I want to support the artists but I always said I would reject any disk that wasn't a proper CD audio disk - I can't stand the arrogance of the record labels dictating how we can listen to the music. (The only people this stuff affects is genuine buyers). These days I just import CDs on my Mac to listen to in iTunes. I use it on my iPod and I like having the CD available to play elsewhere and the option of re-encoding again later at different settings.

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#104 Post by zreynoldsp » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:09 am

I suggest buying the DVD & CD from an amazon market place seller. I got the DVD for £9 delivered from Canada, and the UK release date was far far away.

It is a great DVD. My only criticism would be that it has so few songs on it - I seemed to have to endure far more Malmsteen on the Denver DVD than I get to enjoy of petrucci on the Tokyo one.

Amazing though... I loved 'Smoke on the Water'... love them playing like 2 bars of the solo each and going round and round the three of them. Even the missus was impressed, and she generally dislikes instrumental guitar (it's a good job she can cook! :lol: )

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#105 Post by Jeroen » Sat Nov 19, 2005 3:44 pm

I just got the DVD today.

A few comments after watching it a few times:

- Joe's 'Searching' is amazing & intense, I like it _alot_
- Joe's "War' is a classic!
- John Petrucci's Damage Control is also very cool

- Steve's "The Audience is Listning' is ultra cool, fun to watch and sounds terrific.
- Steve's 'Building the church' is awesome, I love that song so much..

- Steve's 'K'm Pee Du Wee' is fucking stellar, that solo-improv section is waaaaay off the charts. I looped it about 20 times and I'm still floored.
Not only the solo is cool, Jeremy's drumming there is just perfect.

that's 21 times..

The Jam is as it should be. Fun, not overdone, lotsa fireworks.

Loved the soundcheck bit :) That chicken is hilarious, I gotta get me one of those for the office :)

Cool DVD!


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