[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

Strumming eyewitness

I saw a few reviews of the Reno show last night that are up on The Highway Star site already. I went to the Reno show, and I can certainly verify, it was true, real, and everything else you have read!

I went to the Concord, CA show Sunday night, that was a great show with a bigger and better crowd than Reno's was, it was a Scorpions closing show, DP played their normal first of the co-headliners show, and there was no indication that the next show in Reno would be any different (outside of DP being the final act there). I was backstage at Concord after DP's set, and there was absolutely no mention of Joe Satriani showing up and having a play with DP. I thought he may be there at Concord, cause I know he has a home in San Francisco (Concord was the SF Bay Area show for this tour), and he is playing a show with his band here August 11th.

Since Joe didn't show up at the Concord show, I for one didn't give it another thought he'd show up in Reno. The Reno Hilton Ampitheater isn't a great venue, typical outdoor stage, with folding chairs lined up on the flat floor held together with twist ties, and bleacher steating in the back. Seating was enforced for both Dio's and the Scorpions' sets, but for some reason unknown to us at the time, security guards went behind the barricade before DP came on, and let people come up to the stage like general admission shows.

Since I had second row seats there, it didn't make sense to me why they elected to have security do this, but I didn't know what was to come. There were a few rowdies who shoved their way up front, that was a negative about last night's DP set. But, I knew something was up when Speed King was done quite early in the set, after Perfect Strangers, and there was no RG or IP solo spots during the tune like usual. Ian G. then mentioned something about DP in 1993 and 1994, and the only thing I could think of that this was leading up to was introducing Joe Satriani to us, and I was right!

Now Steve Morse smiles as a matter of course during shows, but last night, he had the biggest, genuine smile I have ever seen him have, he loved Joe being up there with the rest of the band. Everyone had smiles, it was awesome.

They did this guitar duel solo spot, that lead to SOTW with Joe taking turns with Steve doing lead. To include Joe in the encores of Hush and Highway Star was great, and I knew that would happen at that point. The crowd that was left there (some left after the Scorpions set, their loss) was going nuts! We witnessed DP history, at no time in the band's history had a former guitarist of DP came up onstage and played with the current version of the band that I know of.

I ran into Don Airey in the hotel after the show, he said they knew about two minutes before they came on that Joe would come up onstage with them. What a night, not sure what to expect next. The story continues...

Michael Friedman

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