Yngwie Malmsteen - One of the more famous metal shredders is here with keyboards, drums, bass, and a vocalist. The more important stats are in the backline. The bass and keyboards have basic stack amps and the drummer is shoved a bit off to that side to make way for no less than 26 Marshall heads and 14 Marshall cabinets. There are few more heads near the PA column as well. Only seven heads are turned on and there is one microphone on one of the cabinets for the PA. This wallpaper look seems a bit much for anything shy of a Woodstock performance (even then, the PA is obviously the key), but I only now understand the excess when I go to the Marshall homepage. Yngwie Malmsteen models instantly pop up and are featured front and center. OK, so what comes out of these amps? The expected shredding metal guitar, fast and furious, and played with a lot more abandon than control. Although when he stands still and focuses, he nails all his runs with great control. Otherwise during the rhythm parts, he enjoys running around firing out the never ending supply of picks to the crowd, spinning his guitar around, tossing them to his guitar (pick) tech, and putting his hair in front or behind his head. It is not much of a surprise that the vocals are a bit buried in the mix. Although the sound gets a little steadier and louder as the night goes on. The songs are not terribly memorable and are in the Iron Maiden vein I suspect, although my metal knowledge is limited toward different directions in the metal spectrum. There are lots of solos are lead runs with some of the instrumentalists as the singer gets lots of breaks. After the Star Spangled Banner (where have I heard that before on electric guitar...), they do kick into some tougher songs which I enjoy a bit more. But it goes on for quite some time and the spectacle kind of wears off. The crowd is enjoying the set as it is slick and if you really want to see flash guitar, then this guy is your man. I did enjoy this at times, but smaller doses of the flash, and a focus on the stronger songs in perhaps a shorter set would be more to my liking.
Quote of the night: After a loud whistle from the back, the headliner's singer quipped... "Did that clean your ears out?" I am happy that someone else finds these whistles more painful than all those Marshall stacks.