Earthbound Heaven

Ridgefield, CT, doesn’t scream dreamy Metal Land, but it is, as the crowd roars to their feet to praise 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.

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

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

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. The 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, awash in stately, historically loaded glory.

I was expecting more members of Gen X to be in attendance, personally. Instead, I saw more adults and couples my parent’s 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 about heavy metal music noise that makes us feel so alive?

Are words essential 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 is purely instrumental and is Zappa’s best song by far; case closed.

I never saw Steve Vai in person, but I will now, so I can experience another true guitar virtuoso take flight while getting lost in such soul-flaming delight.

The knock-on guitar gods’ virtuosos like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai are 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 got catapulted to the top of Mount Metal, and I never wanted to come down.

A Joe Satriani concert must be experienced in person rather than 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 by 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.

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 bimbette bobbing music just went out the freaking window.

Not that Joe Satriani’s spoken in the same breath as the bleached out Tasmanian Devil in the form of lead guitar shredder star CC Deville from Poison but still.

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

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

When you hear Joe Satriani play in person, you’ll look down at your seat to see if your seatbelt is on before you’re braced to be hurled off to Mars and back next.

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

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

You’re taking the rocket ship to the outer 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 rollerblades with Mountain Girl in jam band Heaven simultaneously.

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

Joe Satriani’s influences are far-reaching and profound, especially on songs like Cherry Blossoms, where it sounds like he’s picking out knots on your back for geishas’ spirits to infiltrate with soothing stretches of sunshine.

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

And that’s why you must 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 looks more primed, polished, and perfect than the 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—ass-tuchus about that.

Michael Kornbluth