A triple shot of rock will shake New Mexico when guitar legend Joe Satriani invades the Journal Pavilion with Dream Theater and Kings X on Wednesday, Aug. 14.
Born on July 15, 1956, in Westbury, N.Y., and raised in the nearby town of Carle Place, Joe Satriani learned early how to play the guitar and write his own lyrics. Giving lessons to Steve Vai was the hidden key to his career.
Vai hit the big time as the guitarist of David Lee Roth’s solo band in 1986; he offered praise for his good friend and former teacher in several major guitar publications, leading to widespread interest in Satriani’s playing.
Eventually, Vai signed Satriani to his record label. Since then, Satriani has released a series of gold and platinum albums, including “Flying In A Blue Dream,” “The Extremist” and “Time Machine.”
The Texas trio is made up of members Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor and Jerry Gaskill. Both Dream Theater and Kings X are guitar-oriented bands, known for their melodic harmonies, metallic riffing and rhythmic strumming.
Dream Theater was started in 1986 with five band members who were friends throughout high school: James LaBrie, John Myung, John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy and Jordan Rudess. The band has produced six studio albums, including “Metropolis 2000” and “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.”
In 2002, the progressive metal group doesn’t disappoint, as it becomes a squadron of well-trained daredevils set to walk across red-hot coals. With the release of their adventurous double CD “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence,” Dream Theater has quite possibly created its boldest, most fiery statement to date.
In the style of classic progressive rock masterpieces, such as Rush’s “2112” and Yes’ “Close to the Edge,” Dream Theater’s sixth studio record is packed with jaw-dropping technical proficiency (a band signature) hypnotic hooks and majestic, otherwordly interludes. The multi-faceted title track, which spans the entire length of the second CD, earns them a place alongside those legendary bands.
“This record is very ambitious, and I think it is something we wanted, and had, to do,” says drummer Mike Portnoy.
“Besides getting better on our own individual instruments, one of our main goals was to become better songwriters,” insists guitarist John Petrucci. “We are conscious about giving the listener a complex thematic piece that is rife with melodic elements.”
The 14-minute, adrenalized “The Glass Prison” swifty moves through growing guitar riffs, stately keyboard runs, syncopated bass and drum romps and even scratchy DJ-like noises typically found in hip hop.
“We don’t follow any set patterns when writing, and I think that song is a good example,” says Petrucci. “We just go wherever the music takes us.”
As they did for their 1999 studio record, “Scenes From A Memory,” Portnoy and Petrucci took the reins as producers and called on longtime associates to handle the engineering and mixing duties. Having creative control over the writing-recording process led the band to explore countless possibilities.
“Because ‘Scenes’ was such a worldwide success, it gave us the freedom to do what we wanted,” says Portnoy. “That’s what Dream Theater is all about.”
This year’s “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence” takes listeners on a wild, melodic ride with the 42-minute title track as peaceful as a moonlit pond and as venomous as a slithering cobra sinking its fangs into you.
“The six characters of the song — hence the six degrees in the title — all share a common bond: they suffer from emotional distress,” explains Portnoy. “Each person reacts differently to the world around them.”
Now, as the band’s music heads into new territories, the members are excited about their new tour.
“We plan on going places we’ve never seen before,” says Petrucci. “The fans are with us through thick and thin, whether we release a triple live CD, like our ‘Live Scenes from New York,” or this new double studio CD. We’ve survived for over 10 years because we have built up a following around the world. It’s the fans’ devotion that makes our music possible. With their support, who knows where we’ll go next.”
Tickets for Joe Satriani, Dream Theater and Kings X at the Journal Pavilion on Wednesday, Aug. 14, are priced at $46.50, $36.50 and $28. Tickets can be bought on-line through CC.com or charged by phone at 505-883-7800 or purchased at any Ticketmaster outlet. The show is rain or shine.