The Guitar Universe Tour came to Dublin on 13 October and took over the Village venue. Not just about promoting the new releases of the artist’s, this tour was more about bringing something new and different to the masses.
While Marty Friedman had Bad DNA and Tokyo Jukebox 2 to promote and Yossi Sassi had his Melting Clocks and Stéphan Forté had The Shadows Compendium, there was more to the tour than simple promotion of new material. This was more about combining different styles and illustrating the diversity of the guitar and an instrument. It brought flavours Europe, Japan, The US and the Middle East.
The night shaped up to be a great demonstration of just how diverse and contrastive an instrument guitar can be. That was really the beauty of the gig – three guitarist who are so multifarious that there is nothing monotonous about the night. Even Marty Friedman would agree that three of the same would be too much for anybody to endure, but that’s not what happened here.
First to play was Stéphan Forté. He appeared on stage with a seven string lag guitar, having previously played with Progressive Metal band, Adagio, it is clear that he has abandoned his metal roots. He passionately performed through all of his set. His tone is at times eerie but always retains it heaviness both in the riffs and solos. If there was any fear that it wouldn’t as engaging of a set without vocals, those fears were certainly quelled. It’s clear from listening to The Shadows Compendium and then seeing it played live that Forté has a wide range of influences outside of the metal genre. There is definitely a strong classical influence in his playing. He demonstrated really expressive and dynamic playing in his set.
Next to play was Yossi Sassi. With his Middle Eastern roots, he brought something completely new to the set. He arrived out on stage with an impressive double neck guitar. Sassi has been referred to as a ‘Pioneer of Oriental metal’, and this is really indisputable when you see him play live. Having played in Orphaned Land and been the brain behind most of its creations, Sassi’s solo career is really his own sole expression. Sassi has created his own personal kind of progressive rock to the scene. It was his first time to play in Dublin and judging by the response he received, he will definitely have a more followers. Sassi was the only one out of the three to bring vocals into the mix. While oftentimes softer sounding than the others, he still managed to bring some heaviness to the set.
Then it was time for the highly anticipated appearance of Marty Friedman. There was naturally a huge interest in him, especially from the large number of Megadeth fans in Dublin. I think the majority of people there to see Marty were there to see what he had come up with since his days in Megadeth.
His set was highly energetic with his own drummer providing a lot of entertainment for the crowd. Marty is still as heavy as ever with his speedy picking and his shredding guitar solos. The influence of Japan is prominent in his music and any sceptics out there I think Marty showed them that he’s still got it. He played a lot of material from Tokyo Jukebox 1 as opposed to Tokyo Jukebox 2 and introducing us to his anthem the Ballad of the Barbie Bandits was a sure crowd pleaser. With everything from guitar-offs to the insanity of the drummer the night was a success and it was great to see Marty doing what he does best.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARC LEACH : http://www.marcleachphotography.com