Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yngwie Malmsteen - The Jones -- Fillmore - Oct 15 2011

The Jones - This is my second time seeing this local trio, although this is quite a step up from being the first opener of a three band bill at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel. The Fillmore is a slick and sizable place similar to the 9:30 Club, although more similar to the other Fillmores or House of Blues showcases around the country. The balcony is closed but the floor is plenty crowded for the Jones' set. I compared the Jones to Blue Cheer and the Groundhogs before and that brand of psychedelicized grind it out blues rock is still present tonight.They really can lay down a groove with the guitarist vocalist employing good breathy vocals sounding a bit like Black Mountain perhaps. His guitar work is a bit better than first glance as he uses effective riffs, quick leads and fills with a great control of tone. I am carefully observing the crowd to see if the mass of rock fans here to see a shredding metal guitarist will enjoy a different style in the opening set. It was nice to see that so many people did enjoy this strong set. The amount of increased head bobbing, applause, and the occasional nods between friends looked as if the Jones style and abilities can translate to a whole  lot of rock fans. This is an excellent band that I will be happy to see on a wide variety of bills.

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.

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