Earthbound Heaven

Ridgefield, CT doesn’t scream dreamy Metal Land, but it is.

Especially as the crowd roars to their feet to give thunderous praise to Guitar God Joe Satriani for the trip of a lifetime to the outer cosmos of our mind and back for only 110 bucks, no DMT discount from the Joe Rogan show required.

I play my son a video clip of Joe Satriani’s shredastic self on Surfing with An Alien from the Ridgefield Playhouse last night.

And my son says, “Learn how to play like that. Eat my butt wind.”

I say, “Joe Satriani gave Steve Vai guitar lessons at 16. And daddy is older than Aids.”

Son adds, “I don’t care daddy. Get lessons from Joe Satriani anyway. Bus is coming. Reclusive rocker shreds, so get back to shredding already. Eat my butt wind, love you Daddy, bye.”

The opening to Always With Me plays, and I’m in the delivery room with all 3 of my Snuggle Shine Snugglets again.

I never saw a show of any kind at the Ridgefield Playhouse. But what a chill, mature, handsome venue it is like the neighboring town of Ridgefield itself, awash in stately, historically loaded glory.

I was expecting more members of Gen X in attendance, personally. Instead, I saw more adults and couples my parents age, which was a refreshing change of pace, because they’ve seen the evolution of hard rock metal 1st hand since the likes of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix tore out the brain wiring of our DNA in exchange for something more elastic electric inside. Did GNR advance the sound of hard rock metal post Aerosmith? Does Joe Perry require core balancing exercise tips on the Peloton app? Still, if Slash was the 90’s metal prototype, airy, tingly yet fierce, then Joe Satriani is 2050. Because if the sea levels do rise enough to come down crashing on us, at least we’ve had the soar charged rush of what it feels like to hop on Joe Satriani’s killer cool wings as he takes us along for one rush-tastic ride after the next.

I was at one with the universe.

Hatred in my heart went poof.

Anxiety dissipated.

Worry took a hike up to Malibu around Adam Sandler’s funny man cave compound.

What is it about heavy metal music noise that makes us feel so alive?

Are words really necessary when the six string can express more layered turbo charged emotion than any sardonic laced lyrics from Frank Zappa ever could? Watermelon In Easter Hay, which is pure instrumental, is Zappa’s best song by far, case closed.

I never saw Steve Vai in person, but I’m tempted now.

Just to see another true guitar virtuoso take flight while getting lost in such soul flaming delight.

The knock-on guitar god virtuosos like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai is that their concerts are self-indulgent jerk feasts.

And when you hear just one bulldozering smooth power riff on Thunder High On The Mountain, that flimsy premise is shattered into instantaneous smithereens.

Reducing Joe Satriani’s music as mere guitar hero filler is blasphemous beyond belief.

The moment he started strumming, I was catapulted to the top of Mount Metal, and I never wanted to come down.

A Joe Satriani concert has to be experienced in person, not through YouTube.

VR Goggles can’t simulate your heart flying through space at rocket fueled powered speed.

And doesn’t your wife circumcise your happiness enough already?

Spotify can’t get you into the inner depth of Satriani’s space shredder land either.

But only by seeing Joe Satriani live can you be awed in the presence of such jaw dropping, melodic metal might.

I once read about how the Allman Brothers Band played for 6 hours at the Filmore East.

By the time they opened the doors, there was sunlight.

Well, I only needed to hear the Elephants of Mars for one soartastic stampede of sound to see the light.

Any doubt of metal sounding like cheesy, dated bimbet bobbing music just went out the freaking window.

Not that Joe Satriani was ever being compared to Poison.

Still, what’s separates Joe Satriani from other mere mortal men is how he immerses you inside of song, more than his army of winged guitars have already.

When you hear Joe Satriani play in person, you’re inside the rocket ship of his soul powered brain too.

When you hear joe Satriani play in person, you’ll find yourself looking down at your seat to see if your seatbelt is on, before you’re bracing to be hurled off to Mars next.

AC/DC’s Back In Black inspired me to play air guitar, which lead to me using my youngest son Hardcore Hunga Rocks as my mini air guitar appendage now.

Yet getting lost in Joe Satriani’s wall of wailing sound is different

You’re taking the rocket ship to the outermost cosmos of your mind and back with renewed verve and holy powered awe.

You’re surfing with an alien and giving Jerry Garcia a high five on the rings of Saturn, as Captain Trips roller blades with Mountain Girl in jam band heaven all at the same time.

On the song, All My Friends Are Here, it feels like a modernized refresh of the Boys Are Back in Town, minus the football ruffian brawling feel.

Joe Satriani’s influences are very wide and deep, especially on songs like Cherry Blossoms, where it sounds like he’s picking out knots on you back for geishas’ spirits to infiltrate with soothing stretches of sunshine.

I always tell my kids you can sense half ass love from a mile away.

Actually, I tell them you can sense half ass tuchus love from a mile away.

And that’s why you have to see Joe Satriani make love to his guitar in person.

He caresses those strings like frozen in time hymens.

He makes the guitar an endless stream, of oceanic crashing sound.

Joe Satriani went through many guitars.

One looking more primed polished perfect than rest.

For every guitar change, I wanted to cite the Shema prayer,

“Here O Israel, The Lord is our God, the Lord is one”.

Is comparing the opening and closing of the Torah scrolls in Synagogue to Joe Satriani’s guitar changes blasphemous?

Who cares if it is? Hardcore Kabbalists are at one with mysticism and big believers in God revealing himself through nature powered sound. And nothing sounded more otherworldly majestic than this. And there’s nothing half tuchus about that.

Joe Satriani plays with so much love, so much depth of feeling, so much immersive passion.

Of course, he’s an Italian New Yorker no less. Last time, I felt this way was when I went snorkeling through the Great Barrier Reef during my honeymoon in Australia. Awash in God’s most beautifying, decorative set, I became lost in time, feeling at one with the strum hum of the universe. We wanted to get married there. But my mom says, “It’s a long flight from New York and your dad doesn’t love you that much.”

But you don’t have to visit Australia for that experience as long as Joe Satriani stays earth bound for the final stretch of his earth-bound tour throughout metal loving USA. Boston is up next, where my good friend from college JT will be attending, who turned me on to the interplanetary stylings of Satriani in the 1st place. Or else we would’ve gone to the show in Ridgefield together. JT urged me to attend solo regardless, insisting that the experience would be good for my “inner being.” Nostradamus lives. Thank you, Joe Satriani, for unleashing the striver shredder star in us all, very, very much.

Michael Kornbluth

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