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Paul Gilbert concert review


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So, me and a friend of mine went to see the guitar hero Paul Gilbert in Pratteln. As expected, the Z7 wasn't sold out because it's not everyone's cup of tea. ;) I'd say maybe 1000 spectators. Anyway, we arrived there quite early, so we went straight in front of the stage.

The concert started at about 9 o'clock. Paul Gilbert, wearing a purple NASA overall and huge headphones, came on stage with a double neck Ibanez and showed off his skills on the guitar for a few minutes. We were blown away by him. Then he grabbed the microphone and yelled "Let's Rock N' Roll, Switzerland" and the band started to play their first song. You could immediately tell, Gilbert was not the only virtuoso up on stage. Bassist Mike Szuter, who was a member of Racer X, is definitely no stranger to tapping and shredding. Drummer Jeff Bowders (former David Lee Roth drummer) and Gilbert's wife Emi Gilbert on the keyboards impressed, too.

After a few instrumentals we got the hear Paul's voice. And he showed he's a real good singer, allthough I could barely hear him in the beginning, because the drums were a bit too loud. But the sound guys improved it during the concert. The drums remained still a bit loud, though.

So, they then played songs featuring Gilbert on vocals, like "I'm Not Afraid Of The Police", "I like Rock" or "Down To Mexico", one of my favourites. In between Paul showed his skills while playing songs from his new instrumental album "Get Out Of My Yard" or some Racer X classics, like the amazing "Technical Difficulties", which received a big applaus after he played the first bars of it.

To, as Paul Gilbert said, prepare our ears for the songs, he then showed us in which key the next songs are played and made a short improvisation using this key. :P

One of the highlights of the concert was probably the guitar duell between Gilbert and Szuter. Both really showed off their skills, which were impressive.

Gilbert also played the beginning of Mr. Big's number 1 hit "To Be With You", but changed then into another song, which I thought was a shame, because I would have liked to hear it.

Sometimes, they really had technical difficulties up on stage. ;) Once there was a cable not working and another time Paul started to count and then they began to play but after a few seconds Paul began to smile and said "Sorry", because he had forgotten to press the pedal, so they stopped it and started again. :D

After an hour and 15 minutes, they went but of course returned to play some encores. He came on stage, stood right in front of me and played an amazing blues solo. He really showed what an astonishing guitarist he is, by doing such an awesome solo. Then came probably the best performance of the evening. They played "Foxy Lady" from Jimi Hendrix. One of the best renditions I've ever heard and the solo (including a part played with his teeth) he played during the song was plain awesome. rock3 During the concert he showed, he's also able to shred behind his back and play with a borer, on which he attached some guitar picks.

They ended the concert with a song called "You Kids" from their new album after playing for about 1 hour and 35 minutes.

In the end, I can say, it was an awesome concert. My friend and I both thought they were actually even better then we expected them to be. But if you like concerts with a lot of headbanging, maybe a Paul Gilbert concert is not the right place for you, because it's more about being blown away and marvel about what the magician is doing up there on stage. I have to say, Paul Gilbert is not only a wizard on the guitar, he is also a real prankster and it's alone worth paying the entry, when you can see his facial impression during a solo. He is really into the music he's playing. B) It was definitely worth seeing Paul Gilbert and I can recommend him to you.

Some pics I did with my mobile phone:









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Sweet - any Mr Big songs played?

I'm not sure to be honest. There were some songs I didn't know, and I'm not really into Mr. Big. I know some of Paul Gilbert's solo stuff and some Racer X songs, but not everything. So these songs could have been either some songs form one of the solo CD's I don't have or some Mr. Big songs.

According to his homepage, he says, he plays Racer X, solo stuff and Mr. Big songs during this tour.

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